By Meredith Somers
(The Washington Times) The Washington National Cathedral is welcoming the first openly transgendered Episcopal priest to its altar this month.
The Rev. Cameron Partridge, a transgendered man, is set to give the June 22 sermon at the cathedral, a fixture in the D.C. skyline and one of the nation’s most well-known houses of worship.
Dean of the cathedral, the Rev. Gary Hall, said in a statement that he hopes Mr. Partridge’s presence would send a message of support for the transgender community.
“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,” Mr. Hall said. “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.”
Mr. Partridge is the Episcopal chaplain at Boston University and a lecturer and counselor for Episcopal and Anglican students at the Harvard Divinity School. He completed his transition to male in 2001, according to Boston University, and has a wife and two children.
Rev. Hall also announced that the Right Rev. Gene Robinson, the first openly gay Episcopal priest, would be presiding the same service with Mr. Partridge. He retired from his post as a bishop in New Hampshire and now works at the Center for American Progress.
The service caps two weeks of LGBT advocacy for the cathedral. It participated in this year’s Capital Pride events, and Mr. Hall said the service would include readings by local LGBT community members.
Last year the National Cathedral made headlines when its leaders announced that the church would perform same-sex marriages.