Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Oasis/California Responds To HoB Statement

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--Actions by American bishops are unlikely to change how the Episcopal Church ministers to lesbian, gay bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people around the Bay Area, the president of the Episcopal Diocese of California's Oasis ministry to LGBT people said today.

"Across the Bay Area, many Episcopal Churches will continue to welcome, baptize, confirm and bless LGBT individuals, couple and families," Oasis President Thomas Jackson said. A list of Bay Area Episcopal Churches that welcome LGBT people is available on the Oasis California website.

"On balance, we lost little ground in the bishop's actions. We gained the bishop's 'unequivocal support for civil rights for lesbian, gay bisexual and transgender (LGBT) persons;' support for including the church's only openly gay bishop in an upcoming Anglican council; and affirming LGBT people are part of this church," Jackson said. "These are important steps forward."

Technically, he added, a rite for blessing same gender couples has yet to be approved in the Diocese of California. In the absence of an approved rite, Bishop of California Marc Andrus has established a process for clergy to use in same gender blessing gender couples. Proposed rites for blessing same gender couples will be considered next month during the diocese's 2007 convention.

"We're disappointed the bishops made more explicit their intention to refuse to approve any 'non-celibate gay and lesbian persons' who are selected by a diocese to become a bishop. It is ironic for bishops to adopt this form of discrimination and at the same time voice a 'clear and outspoken in our shared commitment to establish and protect the civil rights of gay and lesbian persons," Jackson added. "By making their discrimination against gay or lesbian bishops more blatant, the bishops have simply set the stage for a reversal of this action at the Church's next General Convention in 2009."

1 comment:

Bill Carroll said...

Anglican Council???? May there never be such a thing. May we continue to have instruments of unity that are purely consultative in character.