The Bible backs allowing little boys to dress in tutus and princess' tiaras, according to a senior Anglican theologian.
It comes after the Church of England issued guidance for its 4,700 schools to combat 'homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying' that said primary schools should be places of 'creative exploration' where children can 'try out the many cloaks of identity' and 'explore the possibilities of who they might be without judgment or derision'.
This includes allowing young boys to wear tutus or princess' tiaras and young girls to wear tool belts and superhero capes without comment or criticism, the report published on Monday said.
Dr Michael Banner, Dean of Trinity College Chapel at the University of Cambridge, said the inclusive approach adopted by the CofE had a biblical approach.
Delivering the Thought for the Day on the BBC's Radio 4 Today programme, he said 'the books of the Bible, from which the church takes its inspiration and teaching, themselves challenge the stereotypes and negative attitudes which have led us to exclude from fellowship those whom we judge outsiders'.
Citing a story from the biblical book of Acts where one of the disciples meets a foreign eunuch, Banner points out the disciples baptised him despite numerous barriers.
'He is a foreigner, for starters. He is a treasurer, so a man who handles filthy lucre on a daily basis. And surely worst of all, he is a eunuch – and of eunuchs, the book of Deuteronomy decrees, "they may not enter the assembly of the Lord". As to what he was wearing, the book of Acts is silent, but it could have been a tutu and a tiara since none of this bothers Philip – and Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him,' he said.
'His baptizing a foreign financier of uncertain gender status, holds out to us an inclusive vision of community – a vision to which schools, Christian schools above all, should surely aspire.'
It comes a petition asking the Archbishop of Canterbury to scrap the guidance was launched, reaching almost 5,000 signatures by Tuesday lunchtime.
The campaign described the new advice as a 'form of abuse' and said it is 'wrong and endangers children' by 'promoting gender dysphoria'.
A statement on the CitizenGo website read: 'It is implanting in children's minds ideas they cannot possibly evaluate and assess for themselves, and is tantamount to brainwashing. Although for a very tiny minority gender identity may be an issue, for the greater number it will not. The CofE's new policy will be destabilizing for all.'