A letter from Presiding Bishop Michael Curry and President of the House of Deputies Gay Jennings
Dear People of God in the Episcopal Church:
Yesterday, the Texas legislature adjourned its special session without passing a so-called “bathroom bill,” which threatened to write discrimination against transgender people into state law. We give thanks for all of the Texan Episcopalians, elected officials, business leaders, and advocates who raised their voices publicly against this proposed law and the physical, spiritual and emotional damage it threatened to do to transgender people.
Now that we can be more confident that transgender deputies, exhibitors, advocates and guests can travel to Texas safely and with dignity, we have no plans to ask Executive Council to reconsider the location of the 2018 General Convention. We are delighted and relieved to assure the Episcopalians of Texas that we look forward to being with you in Austin next summer.
Along with the bishops of Texas and many other Episcopalians, we remain concerned about Senate Bill 4, a Texas law scheduled to go into effect on September 1 that requires local police to cooperate with federal immigration authorities and forbids local municipalities from adopting sanctuary city statutes. Between now and next summer, we plan to follow the progress of legal challenges to Senate Bill 4 closely and to explore ways to lend the support of the Episcopal Church to Texans who oppose this discriminatory, anti-immigrant law.
There is darkness in our land, as the white supremacist riot in Charlottesville last weekend demonstrated with sickening and deadly clarity. But we follow Jesus, about whose coming John’s Gospel said, “the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness cannot overcome it.” And it cannot! So when the evil one divides us from one another through darkness of racism, bigotry and intolerance, we must witness even more steadfastly to the light, the power of the risen Christ to overcome hatred, cease division, and bind us all even more closely to one another.
Even as we give thanks that justice for transgender people has prevailed in Texas, we ask you to join us in continuing to pray and to speak out for all of God’s children who have reason to be afraid in these frightening times. Dear people of God, let the light shine!
The Most Rev. Michael B. Curry
The Rev. Gay Clark Jennings
President of the House of Deputies