What does the Church Handbook of Instructions (CHI) say about gender identity or transgender issues?


While there are sections in the official, online 2010 Church Handbook 2 that address same-sex attraction and same-sex marriage, there are no sections that address gender identity, gender dysphoria, or “transsexualism” (a now less-used term that has historically tended to refer to those who surgically transition).

Because Handbook 1 (2010) entries on gender identity—and more specifically, in the context of transsexualism—are not made publicly available, they cannot be included here; if you would like more information, you may talk to your bishop or stake president. Relevant sections include 3.3.4, 5.2.10, 6.7.2, 6.12.10, 6.13.4, 16.3.3, 16.3.16, 16.7.4.

You will need to consult with your local priesthood leaders for confirmation and counsel, but it is our understanding that the following general policies are in place regarding gender identity and transsexualism—or, more specifically, if there are decisions to surgically (as opposed to socially or legally) transition:

General policies found in the Church Handbook of Instruction (CHI) include:

An individual who is not a member of the Church and who is considering an elective transsexual operation may not be baptized or confirmed a member of the Church.

If an individual has undergone an elective transsexual operation and desires to join the Church, the mission president must conduct the baptismal interview, and final authorization for baptism and confirmation must be received from the First Presidency.

Church leaders counsel against elective transsexual operations, and if a member is contemplating such an operation, leaders advise him or her that the operation may be cause for formal Church discipline.

A member of the Church who has undergone an elective transsexual operation may not receive the priesthood or a temple recommend.

If an individual undergoes an elective transsexual operation and there is Church disciplinary action, the stake president or bishop submits a Report of Church Disciplinary Action form to Church headquarters. Following submission of the report, Church headquarters will automatically annotate the individual’s membership record.

If an individual was disfellowshipped or excommunicated for an elective transsexual operation, or if he or she undergoes an elective transsexual operation after being disfellowshipped or excommunicated, the approval of the First Presidency is required before he or she may be reinstated to full fellowship or readmitted by baptism and confirmation.