The Right Rev. Michael J. Hanley, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Oregon, plans to march Sunday in Portland’s annual Gay Pride parade. He’ll be accompanied by Episcopalians who support gay and transgender rights.
“I’ve simply come to believe that being gay or straight is a gift from God,” he said in a telephone interview Thursday. “I believe we need to live the identity we’re given by God.”
A delegation from St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church in Northeast Portland, which split in 2010 over issues including gay rights, expects to join the parade. Hanley said individual congregations and members are free to decide whether to take part.
“I’m simply walking as an individual,” he said. “One of the things we as Christian people can witness to – when we’re at our best – is when we acknowledge differences we have and we continue to live together in harmony and community. . . . I believe it’s important to witness to the love of God for all people.