The Church of England wants to stop homophobic bullying but not everybody is happy about it

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LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 19: Justin Welby (R), the Archbishop of Canterbury, and Dr John Sentamu, the archbishop of York, prepare to listen to the speeches during the General Synod on November 19, 2013 in London, England. The Church of England's governing body, known as the General Synod, is holding meetings this week where the issue of the ordination of women bishops will be debated. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

New guidance from the Church of England has caused controversy for its inclusive stance on transgender and non-binary kids as a part of the initiative ‘Valuing all God’s children’. The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said in the update: “All bullying, including homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying causes profound damage. We must avoid, at all costs, diminishing the dignity of any individual to a stereotype or a problem.” The guidance tells teachers not to limit children in self-expression, in part during plays, allowing them to play different roles and cross-dress if they want to, without any fear of judgement or bullying. Children should understand that life gives them a lot of possibilities and choices who to become. The Church guidance continued: “They are in a ‘trying on’ stage of life, and not yet adult and so no labels need to be fixed. It may be best to avoid labels and assumptions which deem children’s behaviour irregular, abnormal or problematic just because it does not conform to gender stereotypes or today’s play preferences.” The new guidance attracted significant media attention, with many British newspapers reporting on it prominently. The Daily Mail, The Sun, The Express and The Metro have all reported on the story condemning the decision and disfiguring it. saying it would ‘force boys to wear dresses and tiaras’. Andrea Williams, a member of the Church of England’s parliament told the MailOnline: “We are getting to the point where if you are not careful the slightest slip from the correct agenda in a Church of England school will get you punished. The anti-bullying agenda is aimed against people who step out of line – the anti-bullies are becoming the bullies.”

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