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Switch to Forum Live View California Bishops Oppose Ban on Same-Sex Marriage
10 years ago  ::  Oct 13, 2008 - 11:56PM #1
Posts: 14,591
[COLOR="Navy"]California's six Episcopal diocesan bishops have unanimously gone on record against Proposition 8, the measure on the general election ballot that would reverse the California Supreme Court's decision to allow same-sex couples to marry.

Bishops J. Jon Bruno (Diocese of Los Angeles), Marc Handley Andrus (Diocese of California), Barry L. Beisner (Diocese of Northern California), Mary Gray-Reeves (Diocese of El Camino Real), Jerry A. Lamb (Diocese of San Joaquin), and James R. Mathes (Diocese of San Diego), issued a joint statement last month opposing Prop. 8 and declaring that they do not believe heterosexual marriage is threatened by gay marriage.

The statement expressed the bishops' belief that "continued access to civil marriage for all, regardless of sexual orientation, is consistent with the best principles of our constitutional rights."  The statement also noted that "society is strengthened when two people who love each other choose to enter into marriage, engaged in a lifetime of disciplined relationship building that serves as a witness to the importance of love and commitment."  The bishops observed that preserving the right of gay men and lesbian women to marry would enhance the Christian values of monogamy, love and commitment.  The statement concluded with the bishops' belief that "this continued access [to marriage] promotes Jesus' ethic of love, giving and hope."

Even though the bishops agree on the need to preserve the right of gay and lesbian couples to marry, they disagree over whether and how to conduct weddings in light of the BCP definition of marriage as that between a man and a woman.

Some of the six bishops believe it is appropriate to allow priests to officiate at marriage ceremonies and pronounce blessings, while others want to wait to hear from General Convention (which next meets in July 2009).  In 2006, General Convention passed a resolution opposing state or federal constitutional amendments that prohibit same-sex civil marriage.

Bishop Mathes (San Diego) said TEC must alter language on same-sex marriage before priests begin officiating.  "I just don't believe we have been authorized to do them," he said. "I am not keen on unilateral action."

Bishop Andrus (San Francisco) said he encourages couples - straight or gay - to marry in civil ceremonies and then receive a blessing in church. The compromise stops short of priests performing marriage rites for same-sex couples.  Bishop Andrus said this practice allows him to honor the rights of gay and lesbian couples while keeping his diocese tethered to the Anglican fold. "We have recognized that we as a global body need each other," he said. "This diocese, by its faithfulness to the larger body, could serve as a catalyst for change."

More [COLOR="RoyalBlue"]here[/COLOR].  Note that three other bishops also signed the statement:  Bishops Chester L. Talton (suffragan, Los Angeles), Sergio Carranza-Gomez (assistant, Los Angeles), and Steven Charleston (assistant, California).

Anyone in any of these dioceses?  I'm in the Diocese of California.

Merope | Beliefnet Community Manager
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10 years ago  ::  Oct 14, 2008 - 1:43AM #2
Posts: 14,591
[COLOR="Navy"]What do y'all think of the bishops' statement?

In light of the divisions in our national churches and the Communion on  same-sex marriage, the blessing of same-sex unions, and the ordination of openly gay, non-celibate clergy, should the bishops even have issued their statement?

Do you think the statement exacerbates these divisions or facilitates  healing/reconciliation?

Do you think the bishops are, by virtue of this statement, telling their dioceses and parishioners how to vote on Prop. 8?

Merope | Beliefnet Community Manager
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10 years ago  ::  Oct 14, 2008 - 8:03AM #3
Posts: 16,577
Pray God helps them knock some sense into their Catholic counterparts...
I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize what you heard was not what I meant...
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10 years ago  ::  Oct 19, 2008 - 4:53PM #4
Posts: 9,144

If I read the article correctly, the TEC bps. are Not telling the parishoners how to vote.  No intimidative or else is included as is true with the RCC positions.  This is a position paper rather than dictat with penalties.  If a TECie votes for / against Prop. 8 that person will not be excommunicated, denied sacraments, or declared in a state of mortal sin.

It is a here we stand bishops' statement --- not a you must or we'll castige you threat.:)
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