Transgender Godparent

Transgender man was told the church must adhere to the Code of Canon Law, but he could instead be a “spiritual godparent.”

A 21-year-old, female to male transgender, Alex Salinas, has been rejected by the Catholic Church dioceses of Ceuta and Cadiz in Spain after his request to be a godparent for his newphew’s baptism. The practicing Catholic and “firm believer”, was told that he was not a suitable godparent because he doesn’t conform to the faith’s requirements for godparents. The diocese, however, is insisting that this doesn’t constitute discrimination because anyone whose “lifestyle, opinions and lack of congruence with Christian life and the Church’s regulations” is told the same thing frequently. However, for Salinas, this response is a “kick in the stomach.”

Discrimination Often Leads to Legal Action

In a statement, the diocese of Cadiz said they had a long conversation with Alex Salinas “that protected the feelings of the applicant”. The priest encouraged him to live within the faith, and said he could be a “spiritual godparent”, guiding his nephew in his faith. He said that they had to adhere to the Code of Canon Law, which requires that applicants for god parenthood “be Catholic, be confirmed, have received the holy sacrament of Eucharist and, at the same time, live a life congruent with faith and the mission they are assuming”. However, the Code requires that the priest enforce the law to prevent those who don’t measure for other reasons from becoming a godparent to protect the baptized.

Salinas is pretty sure he will be taking the discrimination to court, as well as appealing within the church. He has had Male listed on his ID since February 2014, and is currently awaiting the gender affirmation surgery. He brought a petition forward to allow him to be his nephew’s godfather, however the church views him as a woman. In fact, he says that the diocese had no issue with him being godfather until he requested documentation for the baptism. After trying other parishes, they all said the same thing and he felt treated “like someone different”.

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