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Going to the chapel? not in these dioceses

Going to the chapel? not in these dioceses


The Bishops Diocesan who voted no on marriage equality at General Convention 2015 and who signed the Salt Lake Lake City Statement have been writing to the members of the dioceses they serve. Not all bishops who voted no signed the statement nor do they necessarily prohibit same sex marriages.

The Rt. Rev. John C. Bauerschmidt, Bishop of Tennessee

“The effects of the General Convention’s decisions do not go into effect until December 2015,” he said. “Individual bishops and dioceses are left with broad discretion in implementing these decisions. This is a time of prayer and discernment before responding.”…

In 2012, the General Convention gave clergy, if allowed by their diocese, permission to offer blessings to same-sex couples. After the recent Supreme Court decision, Bauerschmidt reaffirmed in a statement that he had not granted permission to local clergy and “the policy remains unchanged.”

In a statement of dissent to the General Convention’s vote, a group of bishops quoted the Book of Common Prayer’s reference to procreation as part of God’s intention for marriage and said they are ordained to guard the Church of God’s faith.

From July 7 The Tennessean update on Bishop Bauerschmidt.

The Rt. Rev. Gregory O. Brewer, Bishop of Central Florida

I believe that the anointing of Saul as king over Israel and the legalization of same-sex marriage are analogous. While God’s intention has always been that marriage is between one man and one woman, people in our nation have, for decades, pleaded for gay people to be able to legally marry, and now, through an act of judicial activism, it is the law of the land.

Diocese of Dallas: The Rt. Rev. Paul E. Lambert is the Bishop Pro Tem. Bishop-elect George Sumner could not sign as a bishop but writes:

We want to articulate the traditional teaching on marriage. Here I commend to you the thoughtful letter from our Standing Committee. We do well to think of this witness as actually a gift to the whole church. This is just the perspective of the bishops themselves in their generous mind-of-the-house statement toward the Communion Partners bishops at Convention. I pledge myself to do whatever I can to advocate for this continuing witness in our Church among my future colleagues in the coming years.

From the Standing Committee:

The Diocese of Dallas has a canon on marriage that reads, in part, that “As used in this Diocese, the terms ‘Holy Matrimony’ and ‘Marriage’ shall refer to the exclusive physical and spiritual union of one man and one woman, by mutual consent of the heart, mind and will, and with the intent that it be lifelong. The blessing of sexual relationships between persons of the same sex is prohibited in churches, missions and congregations of this Diocese; and clergy persons resident or licensed in this Diocese are prohibited from performing such blessings in any venue.”

The Rt. Rev. Edward S. Little II, Bishop of Northern Indiana, no comment located.
The Rt. Rev. William H. Love, Bishop of Albany, no comment could be located.
The Rt. Rev. Daniel H. Martins, Bishop of Springfield, writing in his blog following the vote in the House of Bishops:

The bulk of our time and energy, however, was consumed by two marriage-related resolutions. A054 authorizes new liturgical rites that can be used for the celebration of any marriage that is legal in the United States. It includes what I consider to be adequate protections for bishops and dioceses that hold a traditional understanding of marriage. I can and will prohibit their use in the Diocese of Springfield, though I will be obligated, upon request, to facilitate their availability. Referral of such requests to an appropriate neighboring diocese will be considered a good-faith response. I can live with that.

Resolution A036 is another matter. It alters the canon governing marriage to make the language gender-neutral. My handful of allies and I felt this is where we needed to make our stand. We immediately moved a minority report that emerged from the Special Committee on Marriage as a substitute for the resolution. This report was simply a document affirming the traditional understanding of marriage, and was not an alternate canonical change. We had cleared it in advance with the parliamentarian, who deemed it in order. But one of the bishops fairly quickly challenged the Presiding Bishop’s ruling that the substitute was in order, and called for a vote on the matter, which is allowed in Roberts Rules. A majority of the bishops voted to overturn the Presiding Bishop’s ruling, so our substitute was taken out of play. The parliamentarian was, of course, correct, so this was simply the names exercise of raw power. The mood of this convention is “spike the ball.”

The Rt. Rev. Michael G. Smith, Bishop of North Dakota, no statement could be located.


Not a Communion Partner bishop but signing: The Rt. Rev. Samuel Johnson Howard, Bishop of Florida. He has said that he will not allow marriage equality in the Diocese of Florida.

Others signing on to the Salt Lake Statement here.

The resolution calls for provision to be made for same sex couples who wish to be married even it the bishop and diocese is opposed. No bishop has spoken to the issue of provision as yet.


posted by Ann Fontaine



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Ann Fontaine

Bishop Dorsey McConnell says: “If the rector or priest-in-charge is willing to use them, no consultation with me is necessary. Should any rector or priest-in-charge be unwilling, for any reason, to use these rites, he or she will contact the rector or priest-in-charge of another parish who would be willing to do so and, together with the couple, work out a way forward that protects the consciences of all concerned and does not impose an undue burden on any.”

Susan Forsburg

What Cynthia said:

But there was a Biblical basis for slavery, polygamy, stoning women who weren’t virgins, stoning adulterers, stoning people who wear mixed fibers, eat shellfish, and sport tattoos. There seemed to be a Biblical basis for burning witches and absolutely Biblical basis for anti-semitism and thus the Holocaust. Oh and a Biblical case against divorce.

Yes, it’s interesting it’s just THIS issue that is “Biblical”, when the Bible says nothing about faithful same sex couples. And also interesting that Biblical exhortations to help the poor etc etc are so ignored.

A former Episcopalian I recently met left the church over this issue long since– as a gay man, he was angry at the church for its long delayed recognition, and the years and years of argument that dehumanized LGBT people. This is too little to late for him. He remains estranged and angry at this compromise that leaves LGBT people in those dioceses forlorn.

I can see his point, and yet, I also hope that a spirit of generosity and willingness to compromise for now will prevail, as that is more likely to win over hearts and minds. Anger and harsh words simply cement rancor.

Louise Kidd

Gary Roberts – I understand your concern about how you “resent sending your money through a parish” to a bishop/diocese that is counter to your moral opinions. For over 25 years I was a member of the Springfield diocese and fortunately have now landed in the West Michigan diocese. It was truly painful for me to have former Bishop Peter Beckwith and then Bishop Martins as leaders of that diocese, because of this issue and other issues. I chose to give my money to the building fund at my parish church so that the percentage calculations for the diocese office would not include payments from my pledge/offerings. I also chose to serve my parish church as a volunteer musician and not a paid staff person, and counted my time serving in that
position towards my tithe.

Aelred Bernard Dean, BSG

It does not appear right that marriage of homosexual couples can be held hostage by the beliefs of one person. To make it fair across the board is to eliminate church marriages completely. This would eliminate any privilege of marriage and be fair for all concerned.

Mark Mason

Way back in the late 70s I thought same-sex divorce would bring more fairness for men going through divorce. Of course I had to be pro same-sex marriage by default. Everyone thought I was a crazy uberliberal. My gay friends didn’t even like the idea back then. Why would I wish MARRIAGE on them!

Good idea or not it didn’t work out that way. In fact, procreation started being argued out of marriage instead. Then I started thinking why is there no sacramental rite for the creation of life? Having babies has long since stopped being a driving force behind marriage. Half our children are born out of wedlock. Now I wonder why mess with it at all? So now I’m back to being an uberliberal to some and hateful conservative to others.

Bill Carroll

I don’t for a minute believe that all “conservatives’ are hateful bigots. Nor do I think that all “liberals” buy into the eliminationist us-or-them rhetoric of some portions of “progressive” blogosphere. Most of us are more complex than any given label can capture, and Anglicanism has typically not held to any orthodoxy beyond the “mere Christianity” enshrined in Prayer Book, Creed, and Quadrilateral and contained in the Scriptures. I do acknowledge an important assymetry insofar as some are fighting for their existence and bodily and.emotional safety. But the Church I want to belong to will continu to have a place for all sorts and conditions. For a season at least, this will mean bearing with one another in love. It doesn’t mean giving up on our convictions and there are aspects of doctrine and discipline that aren’t optional. But I think we should try to inhabit our structures gracefully, and give each other a chance to show Christlike love.

JC Fisher

“For a season at least, this will mean bearing with one another in love.”

In theory, I can support this.

But I don’t think a same-sex couple that, for example, has been together 40+ years should have to wait a single additional DAY to be married—in State AND in Church—much less some non-specified “season”.

This cross isn’t being—hasn’t been—borne equally, and TEC needs to clear state that (and act upon it, regardless of bishop).

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