Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Episcopalians, Presbyterians, and Sexual Justice

The General Assemblies of these two denominations are wrapping up -- I was tempted to call this blog "women 2, sexual minories 0."

The "stain glass ceiling" may have been broken, but both denominations voted against full inclusion for gays and lesbians. The Episcopal Church adopted Resolution B033 that calls on bishops and Standing Committees to "exercise restraint by not consenting to the consecration of any candidate to the episcopate whose manner of life presents a challenge to the wider church and will lead to further strains on communion." The Presbyterians affirmed their fidelity in marriage, chastity in marriage ordination standards and accepted the "Peace, Unity and Purity" report. In case it's not clear in the doublespeak of this language, basically the EC is saying no to openly gay and lesbian bishops (manner of life is code for homosexuality, not such things as dishonesty, immorality, alcoholism, and so on) and the PCUSA is saying no to ordaining any gay clergy (since they don't allow marriage for gay persons, no gay person who has sex need apply.)

I'm sure this is heartbreaking for people who support sexual justice in these denominations. I can not begin to imagine how it must feel to those called to ministry in these denominations who are being told by their own community that they aren't wanted. It's hard for me as a UU to understand why they stay.

I leave tomorrow for the UU General Assembly in St. Louis. I'm proud that in my denomination sexual justice is a fact not a distant goal.

Have a good weekend, I'll be back on Monday.

1 comment:

jsizoo said...

The news from Presbyterians is not the vote against changing the Book of Order- that was expected. The news is the passage of the report that allows governing bodies to view that part of the Book of Order as non-essential, and to ordain anyway.

Is it justice? no. But it's a BIG step in the right direction.

While it's wonderful that the UU's are as open as they are, you might want to simply celebrate what you know in your context and learn more about what you don't understand before commenting publically.

I'm used to reading the articles in the newspaper from people who don't understand but analyze and comment anyway, but I have come to expect better from you.