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Church of England says boys and girls should be allowed to crossdress in schools

(Wikimedia Commons/Kai Hendry)The Canterbury Cathedral is featured here in this image.

The Church of England has issued a new guidance telling schools that boys should be allowed to wear a tutu, tiara or heels, while girls should be allowed to wear toolbelts and superhero capes if they choose to do so.

In the guidance titled "Valuing All God's Children," the church advises that schools should not require children to wear uniforms that "create difficulty for trans pupils."

It goes on to say that nursery and primary school should be a time of "creative exploration," and that pupils should be allowed to play "with many cloaks of identity" when growing up without "judgment or derision."

"For example, a child may choose the tutu, princess's tiara and heels and/or the fireman's helmet, toolbelt and superhero cloak without expectation or comment," the guidance stated, according to The Guardian.

"Children should be afforded freedom from the expectation of permanence. They are in a 'trying on' stage of life, and not yet adult and so no labels need to be fixed," it added.

The church stated that the new guidance, which was issued to its 4,700 schools, was aimed at preventing pupils from "having their self-worth diminished" or their "ability to achieve impeded by being bullied" because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

In the guidance, the archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, cautioned that homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying causes "profound damage leading to higher levels of mental health disorders, self-harm, depression and suicide."

The church also warned that schools are not allowed to use the Christian faith or Bible teachings to justify behavior that could be considered as bullying, including referring to transgender pupils by a sex other than the ones they have chosen.

Daily Mail noted that the advice also includes instructions on how to report bullying. It contains sample forms in which teachers are encouraged to name the bully and their target, and use tick boxes to describe the incident.

While the Church still maintains that marriage is only between a man and a woman, the guidance acknowledges that there is a wide range of views among all beliefs towards same-sex marriage.

"This guidance helps schools to offer the Christian message of love, joy and the celebration of our humanity without exception or exclusion," Welby stated.

LGBT charity Stonewall welcomed the new guidance and commended the church for sending a "clear signal" that bullying against gays and transgenders must never be tolerated.

The Church's official teaching holds that gay sex is sinful and that members of the clergy should not be in an active sexual relationship with someone of the same sex. However, the General Synod passed a motion in July that officially welcomed and affirmed transgender people to the church.

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