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