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News of Church’s actions on marriage equality go mainstream

News of Church’s actions on marriage equality go mainstream

Yesterday, the House of Deputies of the General Convention concurred with two resolutions previously adopted by the House of Bishops that together ushered in full sacramental marriage equality across the church.  Though there is still some amount of debate and questions about continuing inclusion of dissenters, the resolutions were approved by overwhelming margins (greater than 80% of dioceses voting yes).  The Associated Press story was picked up by major news outlets (such as NY Times, LA Times & Washington Post) across the nation and the event was covered by mainstream media television outlets as well (ABC & CBS).

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Blogs and news outlets focused on the Episcopal Church were carrying the news as well, and the conversation on  Twitter was especially busy.  Statistics on the Cafe’s live-tweeting showed 93,000 impressions for July 1st, significantly higher than our average, with other outlets recording similarly high engagement.

 

In fact, the “House of Twitter” may be amongst the most significant developments of this General Convention, fomenting an ongoing,

View of the vote tally with Cafe Editor Jon White (in white shirt live-tweeting) photo from @AndrewAdamsKSL
View of the vote tally with Cafe Editor Jon White (in white shirt live-tweeting) photo from @AndrewAdamsKSL

real-time conversation across the church.  Though, this Twitter affect has been seen for several years now, what it might mean for the governance of the church is still emerging but the evidence suggests an opportunity to engage the wider church in conversation and advocacy at the General Convention.

 

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Anne Bay

I would invite the dissenting Bishops of same-sex marriage equality to watch the movie “Hairspray”—it’s a wonderful illustration of the trials and tribulations of what’s involved in attaining equality for all. It’s entertaining, but it is poignant too. I am kind of aware of what young people say about this kind of “compromise”—the bottom line is if you are in a diocese with a bishop who didn’t vote for the “official” stand on same-sex marriage equality, then you are up a creek with a big problem to find a church to be married in close to your home. Recently a poll came out showing that less young people are involved in churches in the U.S. The world is changing dramatically and one big change is the younger people don’t want a “less than” feel to their personhood for themselves and others. So, the church still has put the LGBT community in the classification of “less than” in several dioceses and ok’d this. I don’t know very many young people involved in any church affiliation. As time goes by, hopefully this agreement by the church with bishops who don’t want to provide a marriage ceremony for their members who are of the LGBT community will do away with this.

David Allen

The legislation approving the trial liturgies also mandated that bishops who disallow use of the liturgies in their diocese must offer an accommodation to same gender couples seeking marriage in TEC. However, a phone number and an address to a parish priest/bishop in a diocese that is 500 miles from the couple’s home isn’t much accommodation.

I am hoping that because TEC is in full communion with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and because the ELCA has allowed individual parishes to decide and offer sacramental marriage to same gender couples, that parishes which welcome the marriages of same gender couples and are in ELCA synods that overlap TEC dioceses which do not, that those congregations will make a strong welcome to those TEC couples wishing to have weddings in their home towns.

Bro David

Doug Spurlin

David, I had not thought of the ELCA option. That is potentially a positive option. But it will indeed be interesting (and I am sure frustrating) to see how the mandate for accommodations is put into practice.

Sally Fox

This”compromise” is not unlike what John Allin did with his Port St. Lucie statement on women’s ordination. While the “agreement” that bishops who do not approve can ignore the duly voted upon and approved decision of the majority, mere mortals unfortunate enough to be at their mercy, or lack thereof, pay the price. The price for women back then was often subtle and not so subtle character assasination by said bishops resulting in great personal and emotional damage for more than a few women and their families. Today’s similar caveat opens the door to similar damage for faithful and previously trusting couples who had briefly rejoiced that their long awaited acceptance and validation by their church was finally happening, only to learn it died aborning because of where they live.

Patrick Grannan

I applaud the decision yet I deplore the compromise that permits individual bishops to block the decision for an entire diocese. While I can somewhat understand the compromise permitting individual priests to decline performing such ceremonies, granting bishops the right to block ceremonies for the entire diocese and to impose discipline on individual priests who perform ceremonies in accord with the general convention (and therefore in accord with official church position), is a demonstration of a lack of courage and conviction from church leadership.

Ann Fontaine

One could even write the Platform during the session via Twitter @hodplatform – to ask questions of the Parliamentarian. #gc78

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