The Presbyterian Church (USA) has announced that it will include a third gender category for “genderqueer/nonbinary” individuals while collecting information about its members.
The Protestant denomination announced through a news release that the addition of the third gender category will be available next year when its Office of the General Assembly gathers information from presbyteries regarding church membership, age distribution and ethnicity.
The manager of denominational roles and statistics, Kris Valerius, said that in order to be inclusive the church must start enquiring not only about how many men and women members are there, but also how many genderqueer/nonbinary members are there. Previously, in 2014 the denomination modified its constitution’s interpretation of marriage which was changed from “a man and a woman” to “two people.”
Christian Headlines reports:
The PCUSA, in a news release, said the change will take place next year when the Office of the General Assembly collects data from presbyteries on church membership, ethnicity and age distribution.
Among the changes, the denomination will:
– Add a category for 17-/18-year-old members.
– Remove definitions from the racial/ethnic sections according to General Assembly action.
– Add a nonbinary/genderqueer category alongside “male” and “female.”
“We’ve always asked how many female members there are in the church,” said Kris Valerius, manager of denominational roles and statistics. “We’re now asking how many men, women and nonbinary/genderqueer members there are. We’ve never asked that question, so we don’t know how many people will fill it out.”
The non-binary question, Valerius said, is important to the denomination.
“If we want to be inclusive, then we have to start asking because you should be aware of who’s a part of your church,” she said.
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