The Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) has approved a petition to urge government authorities to stop promoting irreversible sex change procedures for minors. The vote, which took place during the PCA’s 50th General Assembly, resulted in a 1,089-793 approval for the petition. The PCA is affiliated with the Covenant School in Nashville, Tennessee, where a tragic shooting incident occurred earlier this year involving a person who identified as transgender.
The overture cited scientific studies suggesting that medical procedures of this nature go against scientific principles. It also mentioned the significant increase in gender dysphoria among girls in recent years, attributing it to societal and cultural influences. The petition argues that God created humans as male and female, deeming cross-dressing immoral. It also refers to Jesus Christ’s warnings against causing harm to children.
The Rev. Bryan Chapell, the stated clerk of the PCA, has expressed his belief that the push for transgender procedures is a political agenda, lacking scientific and biblical backing. The debate within the denomination centered on whether the church should intervene in state affairs, ultimately leading to the decision to create a commission for drafting the final text of the petition. The commission will include medical professionals and focus specifically on medical procedures and drugs involved with transitioning minors.
The PCA, which formed in response to theological liberalism, has experienced significant growth since its inception in 1973. It currently has over 375,000 members and more than 1,540 churches. The more liberal Presbyterian Church USA (PCUSA) has taken a different stance, supporting transgender procedures for minors and petitioning against a bill that sought to ban such procedures in Kentucky.
The petition is a reaction to a report released earlier this year which found that as many as 3 million children in the US attend schools in districts where they can change their name and preferred pronouns to reflect their chosen gender identity without parental consent. The final text of the petition will be sent to both federal and state authorities, with efforts also being made to address the issue in Canada.