Washington, DC, June 6, 2014
First Openly Transgender Priest to Preach at Washington National Cathedral
Cathedral to host service in honor of Pride Month, participate in Capital Pride
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Washington, D.C.—The Very Rev. Gary Hall, dean of Washington National Cathedral, announced today that the Rev. Dr. Cameron Partridge, the Episcopal chaplain at Boston University, will be the guest preacher on Sunday, June 22. Partridge will be the first openly transgender priest to preach from the Cathedral’s historic Canterbury Pulpit, and his participation continues the Cathedral’s celebration of equality during the LGBT community’s pride month. The Rt. Rev. Gene Robinson, widely known for becoming Christendom’s first openly gay priest to be elected a bishop, will preside at the service, which will also include readings and prayers offered by members of the local LGBT community.
“Cameron Partridge is a priest of great intellect, pastoral presence, and possesses a deep passion for the Gospel. We are excited for him to preach at the Cathedral,” said Dean Hall. “As an advocate both within the Church and wider community, Cameron’s presence in the pulpit, I hope, will also send a symbolic message in support of greater equality for the transgender community, which suffers from acts of violence, discrimination, unemployment, homelessness, and financial inequality. We at Washington National Cathedral are striving to send a message of love and affirmation, especially to LGBT youth who suffer daily because of their gender identity or sexual orientation. We want to proclaim to them as proudly and unequivocally as we can: Your gender identity is good and your sexual orientation is good because that’s the way that God made you.”
Dean Hall made national headlines in January 2013 in announcing a policy of blessing same-sex marriages at the Cathedral and has since become known as an outspoken advocate for the LGBT community. A special service in June 2013 in celebration of the Supreme Court’s striking down of the Defense of Marriage Act was held at the Cathedral, and in October 2013, Dean Hall again made headlines after delivering a sermon in which he declared homophobia a sin as part of a special service to honor LGBT youth and to commemorate the 15th anniversary of Matthew Shepard’s death.
Additionally, the Cathedral is participating in Capital Pride again this year. A contingent from the Cathedral and the Episcopal Diocese of Washington plans to march in the pride parade this Saturday, June 7, as part of a growing number of faith communities that affirm the full participation of LGBT people.
SOURCE: Washington National Cathedral