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SCOTUS rules: Love Wins!

SCOTUS rules: Love Wins!











President Obama on the Court ruling


Statement by Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori

Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude.  It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth.  It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  Love never ends.  [1Corinthians 13:4-8]

I rejoice that the Supreme Court has opened the way for the love of two people to be recognized by all the states of this Union, and that the Court has recognized that it is this enduring, humble love that extends beyond the grave that is to be treasured by society wherever it exists.  Our society will be enriched by the public recognition of such enduring faithful love in families headed by two men or two women as well as by a woman and a man.  The children of this land will be stronger when they grow up in families that cannot be unmade by prejudice or discrimination.  May love endure and flourish wherever it is to be found.


The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori

Presiding Bishop and Primate

The Episcopal Church



posted by Ann Fontaine

image from IntegrityUSA


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Paul Powers

Chris Harwood, under proposed Resolution A034, a marriage still has to comply with the laws of the state where it takes place. In many of the overseas jurisdictions, it’s something of a moot point because clergy aren’t authorized to perform marriage ceremonies anyway. Instead, they bless civil marriages that have already taken place. Interestingly, while the 1979 BCP includes a service for blessing a civil marriage, there is no canon authorizing such a service. The proposed changes to the marriage canon correct that oversight.

Mark E. Mason

When I worked at Vital Records we had a mother and her daughter come in that had babies within a month of each other. The babies both had the same father who was also there to sign the Acknowledgment of Paternity paperwork. Many marriage questions arise from just this one real life situation. Should a child’s biological mother be able to marry their biological father if that father is also the biological father of their biological siblings child? Should a mother be able to marry the father of her child if that man is also the father of her child’s child? Pretty complicated before you even ask if all three should be able to get married since they haven’t done anything illegal. It doesn’t matter how you answer the questions; they are all God’s children that live this as their fact of life everyday. The ball is certainly rolling…

Chris Harwood

Does anyone know how TEC’s international dioceses are reacting? And how TEC is expecting them to act? Some of them are in countries that don’t have SSM and some are in countries where civil and religious ceremonies are completely separate and rather irrelevant to each other. Are all Episcopalians in those countries expected to pressure their gov’ts to allow SSM? Are priests expected to perform marriages where the two ceremonies are separate?

Cynthia Katsarelis

Interesting questions. Don’t the international dioceses have delegates? There were certainly representatives on the PB nominating committee. How ever it is in their home countries, I suspect they have a voice at GC.

Chris Harwood

But are they allowed to disagree or refuse to do something that is voted through by the majority on account of their foreign status? Now that it’s the law, no American diocese will be able to refuse once GC has voted, but will the foreign dioceses? Are they going to be expected to break the laws there?

Jon White

The international dioceses do have deputies (not delegates- they get fussy about that) in the HoD and their bishops are present in the HoB. I think Chris’s question regarding reaction in the nations where international dioceses exist is a valid one. However, SSM and LGBTQ recognition are issues that span national borders so undoubtedly there are those pushing for dignity in those places as well. Even in Nigeria, where the Primate of the Anglican Church favors draconian measures against LGBTQ persons, there are Christians seeking full inclusion. And probably, just like here, priests aren’t and won’t be forced to do marriages against their will or unnecessarily.

Professor Christopher Seitz

I am in France and it is interesting to see the response.

Almost none whatsoever.

I do not believe any conservative in TEC genuinely believes GC will do anything but proliferate rites and make them available throughout each and every diocese. So I am unsure who you are addressing with your warning. We get it. The new TEC is here. It is fully in step with culture and enthusiastically so.

What will be interesting to watch is how the conservative position takes its lumps through Title IV disciplining.

Cynthia Katsarelis

I’m more than a little tired of the old saw that liberation for LGBTQ people is being “in step with culture” rather than the result of genuine discernment from the study of the life of Jesus, the Scriptures, deep prayer, and Witness. Our religion includes compelling calls to “love your neighbor,” not to judge, to do justice and love mercy, and the example of Jesus is that of lifting up those oppressed by the establishment.

No matter how many times you say it, liberation is coming from a source of deep religious conviction and it is well supported in strong theological writings. Your repetition of a lie doesn’t not make it any more true. It only makes you look like a person who won’t actually engage and only uses Scripture to justify your own position to the exclusion of others. In the post modern world, it is clear that we can all choose our favorite bits, so prayer, Witness, and reason MUST come into play.

I love France and hold it in my prayers after the latest violence. Safe travels.

JC Fisher

Cynthia, don’t you get it? TEC will be condemned for “following culture” if we acknowledge how the unchurched react to our lack of marital graciousness, or, if we discern the Holy Spirit’s work in the decision, we’ll be snarked at for our ” one prosperous segment of the entire globe” arrogance. We can’t win here. Damned if we do, damned if we don’t. Personally, I’m going to listen to the “Alleluias!”, and not worry about the damn-ers.

Mark E. Mason

I doubt our choice of Jesus is a choice of two. Jesus didn’t condemn the adulteress. Nor did he condemn the stone throwers any more than he did those that nailed him to the cross. Our Lord said that murder is sin and that the anger that leads to murder is sin. Adultery is sin and the lust that leads to adultery is sin. He asked that he who is without sin cast the first stone. He told the adulteress to go and sin no more. He commanded us to love one another and to repent. I don’t see how the two conflict.

Cynthia Katsarelis

Chris, you are conflating a lot of things. It’s too beautiful a day to spend it untangling the muddles.

If Montana is the perspective you have, it is difficult to have a conversation about the national church and the powerful historic role of “the church” in Civil Rights in most of the nation. And pretty much impossible to talk about LGBTQ people in “the church” through the centuries in both hemispheres.

LGBTQ people are people. Children of God. Discriminatory treatment and rhetoric is hurtful; the fruits include teen suicide, depression, employment discrimination, impact on well being… Exclusion of “the other” has always resulted in horrors and I can’t believe that Jesus sanctions the horror show playing out now as a backlash to liberation.

Pick your Jesus. Jesus who condemns or Jesus who loves.

Chris Harwood

I apologize for inserting an “only” in your comment. “No matter how many times you say it, liberation is coming from a source of deep religious conviction” seemed pretty specific.
Whether my claim is a lie depends on where you’re talking about. I was thinking locally. Montana Civil Rights have always been pushed by practicality and strong Libertarian “Live and let live” and “Don’t tell me what to do” that applies to both government and religion. The church has never been a major part of civil rights. Women’s rights outside the church were much earlier than in the church(WWI vs… I met my first woman priest in the 1990’s. ) Black segregation ended 1885. Black churches–there are 3 in the state I think. Not powerful. Jim Crow laws were aimed mostly at Native Americans– and the Roman Catholics and Episcopalians were right in the middle of that. Gay rights are pushed by Lamda Alliance and other secular groups, Integrity
isn’t in Montana. The churches pushed the marriage amendment and even in TEC gays weren’t popular until Bishop Robinson. If you want a civil right here, forget the church. I’m sorry I wasn’t thinking nationally–the nation as a whole doesn’t care about us either. The whole nationwide command thing raises the hackles of that Libertarianism.–hence the questions if dioceses outside the US have rights of their own. I hope you will acquit me of lying at any rate.

Cynthia Katsarelis

Your sense of the secular world doing it first and “dragging the church into it” is another interesting view that lacks truth. Michelangelo was gay you know, and a lot of church musicians spanning time. We’re here, we’ve always been here. I’m sure that the liberation movements gave people hope. Integrity and Dignity (the RC version) started around the same time as Women’s Lib, which was inspired by the Civil Rights movement for Black liberation. We were here and we were tired of the closet and horrific treatment.

It’s true that that the power structure of the white straight (or closeted) man has only been challenged in modern times. The end of white, male supremacy is a good thing, no?

I didn’t say that religion is the only source of liberation, you have a habit of twisting things. But faith sure has powered Civil Rights for blacks in America and the end of aparteid in South Africa. And frankly, you are naive, the liberal churches have been leaders in the movement here in the US, over 2000 religious leaders signed an amicus brief in favor of equal marriage.

I’m heartsick from all of your posts telling me that I’m inferior and an abomination. So if I don’t write back to counter your fear and hate, it’s because I’m out celebrating my liberation and enjoying God’s beautiful Creation on a lovely day.

David Allen

I think that it is your opinion that the church was dragged. I would propose that they were simultaneous events, perhaps influenced by the experience of GLBT folks both in society and in the church.

You are now at your 4 post limit for today (27 JUN). Please refrain from any more comments until tomorrow.

Bro David

Chris Harwood

It’s considered “in step with culture” because the secular world did it first, dragging the church with it. And I think many atheist and secular activists would be seriously offended to hear that the only real source of liberation is religious conviction. One does not need to belong to any religion to believe in marriage equality, racial equality, etc. The “nones” have won.

paul courry

With all due respect to those who wish to conserve our traditions and our understanding of Scripture this is now a tsunami of change on the issue. You may either grab your surfboard or risk drowning and end up conserving nothing.

To those diocesan’s who urge we plod slowly along, crossing our t’s and dotting our i’s while we change constitution and canons, you have a choice: have the weddings in Episcopal churches or watch your parishioners get married at the county courthouse. They will remember the generosity of your pastoral response or the lack thereof.

Chris Harwood

You’re right the time has come to choose. “Join or leave.”How much is “due respect”? And with the “tsunami of change”, whether they follow along or not, nothing is going to be conserved. If you change it, it’s not being conserved, so TEC needs to stop offering what it has no intention of giving. Change is here; change the BCP, those traditions are history. They’re not going to be conserved no matter what. Though, what happens in the dioceses outside the US where it’s not legal yet? Much of the growing parts of TEC are outside the US.

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