Monday, April 30, 2007

NY Times: Visit by Anglican Bishop Draws Episcopal Anger

WASHINGTON, April 27 —The Anglican archbishop of Nigeria, a fierce critic of the Episcopal Church for its acceptance of homosexuality, is arriving next week to install a bishop to lead congregations around the country that want to break from it.

Episcopal leaders say the visit threatens to strain further the already fragile relations between their church and the rest of the worldwide Anglican Communion. But Episcopal traditionalists say there is a growing desire among them to break away. A decision by the Episcopal Church in 2003 to consecrate an openly gay priest, V. Gene Robinson, as the bishop of New Hampshire profoundly alienated those theological traditionalists, and most of the Anglican Communion overseas, who contend that the Bible condemns homosexuality.

The Nigerian archbishop, Peter J. Akinola, will preside over a ceremony in Virginia on May 5 installing Martyn Minns, former rector of an Episcopal church there, as the bishop of the Convocation of Anglicans in North America, an offshoot of the Nigerian church.

Read it all here.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

San Francisco "Gay Mass" Broadcast On BBC

According to This is London: The BBC is to relay a 'gay Mass' from San Francisco this Sunday, the first time such a service has been broadcast.
The 50-minute Mass at the Most Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in the predominantly gay Castro district of the city will feature prayers and readings tailored for the gay community.
The church has been described as an "inspiration" to gay and lesbian Christians around the world because of its ministry to homosexuals.

Read the article HERE

BBC4 has it in the archive. Click on this link to listen:

To listen you will need to have a programme called RealPlayer installed
on your computer. Download it for FREE from our audio help page -

Saturday, April 28, 2007

BBC: Nigeria 'lesbian wedding' denied

A Nigerian woman reported to have "married" four women last weekend in Kano State has denied the allegations.

Aunty Maiduguri told the BBC the reports of her wedding were false, and that she was not a lesbian.

She had gone to the police and lawyers and would take the case to court in an effort to clear her name, she said.

Under Sharia law, adopted in the state seven years ago, homosexuality and same-sex marriages are outlawed and considered very serious offences.

Lesbianism is also illegal under Nigeria's national penal code.

Read it all here.

Old Mike, new Christine

Old Mike, new Christine
By Mike Penner
Times Staff Writer

April 26, 2007

During my 23 years with The Times' sports department, I have held a wide variety of roles and titles. Tennis writer. Angels beat reporter. Olympics writer. Essayist. Sports media critic. NFL columnist. Recent keeper of the Morning Briefing flame.

Today I leave for a few weeks' vacation, and when I return, I will come back in yet another incarnation.

As Christine.

I am a transsexual sportswriter. It has taken more than 40 years, a million tears and hundreds of hours of soul-wrenching therapy for me to work up the courage to type those words. I realize many readers and colleagues and friends will be shocked to read them.

That's OK. I understand that I am not the only one in transition as I move from Mike to Christine. Everyone who knows me and my work will be transitioning as well. That will take time. And that's all right. To borrow a piece of well-worn sports parlance, we will take it one day at a time.

Transsexualism is a complicated and widely misunderstood medical condition. It is a natural occurrence — unusual, no question, but natural.

Recent studies have shown that such physiological factors as genetics and hormonal fluctuations during pregnancy can significantly affect how our brains are "wired" at birth.

As extensive therapy and testing have confirmed, my brain was wired female.

A transgender friend provided the best and simplest explanation I have heard: We are born with this, we fight it as long as we can, and in the end it wins.

I gave it as good a fight as I possibly could. I went more than 40 hard rounds with it. Eventually, though, you realize you are only fighting yourself and your happiness and your mental health — a no-win situation any way you look at it.

When you reach the point when one gender causes heartache and unbearable discomfort, and the other brings more joy and fulfillment than you ever imagined possible, it shouldn't take two tons of bricks to fall in order to know what to do.

It didn't with me.

With me, all it took was 1.99 tons.

For more years than I care to count, I was scared to death over the prospect of writing a story such as this one. It was the most frightening of all the towering mountains of fear I somehow had to confront and struggle to scale.

How do you go about sharing your most important truth, one you spent a lifetime trying to keep deeply buried, to a world that has grown familiar and comfortable with your façade?

To a world whose knowledge of transsexuals usually begins and ends with Jerry Springer's exploitation circus?

Painfully and reluctantly, I began the coming-out process a few months ago. To my everlasting amazement, friends and colleagues almost universally have been supportive and encouraging, often breaking the tension with good-natured doses of humor.

Read the rest HERE

Friday, April 27, 2007

VOICES OF WITNESS wins Polly Bond Award for Excellence!

Episcopal News Service has announced the 2007 Polly Bond Award winners honored yesterday at the annual meeting of Episcopal Communicators . Integrity was thrilled with the news that "Voices of Witness" -- the documentary produced in collaboration with our Claiming the Blessing partners -- received the award for excellence in the video/DVD category! [ENS, Virginia Beach] Episcopal communications -- from a balsa hand glider imprinted for Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori's investiture, to disaster recovery news stories, webcast Advent Meditations and an Episcopal Life bag -- were among Polly Bond Award-winning entries at an April 26 evening Episcopal Communicators banquet.

"I can't get over some of the valiant efforts I see all over the Anglican Communion to communicate the Gospel of Jesus Christ, a gospel of inclusion and new life that the whole world is desperate to hear," Canon Jim Rosenthal told the gathering of Episcopal Communicators at Virginia Beach's Cavalier Hotel. About 120 communicators are attending the April 25-28 annual meeting of church professionals from parishes, dioceses and national agencies across the country.
Read the rest here ... and for information about ordering your FREE copy of "Voices of Witness" -- the AWARD WINNING witness to God's inclusive love -- visit the Claiming the Blessing website!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

+Gene and Mark to take advantage of NH CU Law

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) -- The Rev. V. Gene Robinson's elevation as the Episcopal Church's first openly gay bishop divided the Anglican community worldwide, but in New Hampshire he just wants to be one of the many gay couples uniting with his partner under a soon-to-be-signed civil unions law.

"My partner and I look forward to taking full advantage of the new law," Robinson told The Associated Press on Thursday.

Read it all HERE

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Episcopal leader holds firm on gay rights

Says N.H. bishop's election a blessing
By Michael Paulson
Boston Globe
April 25, 2007

Saying "I don't believe that there is any will in this church to move backward," the top official of the Episcopal Church USA said yesterday that the election of an openly gay bishop in New Hampshire has been "a great blessing" despite triggering intense controversy and talk of possible schism.

In an interview during a visit to Boston, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori compared the gay rights struggle to battles over slavery and women's rights, and said she believes that it has become a vocation for the Episcopal Church "to keep questions of human sexuality in conversation, and before not just the rest of our own church, but the rest of the world."

Jefferts Schori said that it could take 50 years for the debate over homosexuality to be resolved, but that she believes it will happen. She said she hopes that the Anglican Communion, an umbrella organization including the Episcopal Church and the Church of England, will stay together.

Click here to read the rest.

CAN welcomes election of Dr Good Luck Jonathan as Vice-President of Nigeria

Tuesday, 24 April 2007
by Davis Mac-Iyalla

Changing Attitude Nigeria receives with gladness the news that our Christian brother and father, an Anglican knight in the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), Dr Good Luck Jonathan is the Vice-President elect of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

We have been so very worried about the many irregularities and casualties that have surrounded the elections. However we are grateful to God Almighty who has not allowed Nigeria to split into different factions. God has still held us together in one nation despite our differences.

We hope that both the losers and winners in this election will put their differences away and unite to work together for the unity and peace of Nigeria. Our word of hope and prayer for the new government is that you will not fail in your promises to create a better, safer and more just society for all Nigerians.

Davis Mac-Iyalla, Director of Changing Attitude Nigeria, said:

"We are worried that the Nigerian Anglican Church will try and use the new Vice-President elect to push for the reintroduction of the bill against same-sex marriages, relationships and organisations that was lost in the last Assembly. This bill would cause problems for Nigerian in the international community. It would also increase the fear suffered by lesbian and gay Nigerians and the dangers that we live under in our society and encourage people to deepen their prejudices against us.

"We hope the Vice-President elect will work to protect and respect everyone in the diverse cultures of Nigeria including those of us who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered Christians, a hidden and persecuted minority in our country.

"We Christian LGBT people deplore the terrible violence and corruption which is wounding our country so deeply, and the failure of our Government to make a priority of the need s of the poorest people in our society. We pray for a Government that upholds the rule of law and works towards justice and protection for all, Moslem or Christian, lesbian, gay or heterosexual, rich or poor."


Tuesday, April 24, 2007

News from Newport Beach

The Orange County Daily Pilot is reporting:

[Newport Beach] St. James Anglican Church in Newport Beach announced the resignation of head rector Rev. Praveen Bunyan on Monday, declaring in a written statement that he had confessed to inappropriate conduct toward a female adult parishioner. Read the rest of the Pilot article here

And note this commentary on Episcopal Cafe ... "St. James, which broke away from the Episcopal Church over the issue of homosexuality, has affiliated with the Church of Uganda. It was formerly led by the Rev. David Anderson, head of the American Anglican Council, who is now associated with the Church of Nigeria.

Saint James is the home parish of Howard Ahmanson, a key financial supporter of the Anglican right. It is locked in a court battle over its property with the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles.
Bunyan is the second high-profile rector of a breakaway parish to resign after an inappropriate relationship with a female parishioner in the last two months. The Rev. Sam Pascoe of Grace Church in Orange Park, Fla., resigned under similar circumstances in late February.

Both men have been sharply critical of the Episcopal Church, saying that it had lost its moral compass on issues of human sexuality.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Leaven in the Lump of Lambeth

From Marilyn McCord Adams' "Leaven in the Lump of Lambeth: Spiritual Temptations, Ecclesial Opportunities" -- a lecture given to members of the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement (LGCM) at their Annual Conference in London, United Kingdom on April 21st.

These are troubled and troubling times for two reasons. Illiberal winds are blowing pernicious policy and polity changes our way. The Communiqu from the Tanzanian Primates meeting brought the intentions of those who dictated its content more fully out of the closet.

First, it sent the sinister signal that for the forseeable future, full membership in the Anglican communion will require a local church to enforce anti-LGBT taboos: no more episcopal ordinations of coupled gay or lesbian people; no more official or clandestine church blessing of same-sex couples.

Second, the Tanzanian Primates meeting also interpreted by enacting and enacted by interpreting the new authoritarian polity of the Anglican communion: it appears that the Anglican communion is to be governed by a collective papacy, an international college of primates exercizing dictatorial powers.

Both developments raise urgent questions: should, how can LGBT people live in churches with such policies, governed by authoritarian polities that could deliver more of the same and worse? What, if anything, can we, should we do about it?

To find out, click here to listen to an MP3 audio link or here to read a text of the address. And give thanks for the wisdom and witness of Marilyn McCord Adams+!

Marilyn McCord Adams is Regius Professor of Divinity and Canon of Christ Church, Oxford.

Woman Speaks Out About Gay 'Cure'

Both "Good Morning America" and "Glamour Magazine" are featuring profiles of ex "ex-gay" Christine Bakke.

April 23, 2007 — "Ex-gay" ministries, which attempt to turn homosexual people into heterosexuals, say they've changed thousands of lives, but one program graduate says that gay people are fine just the way they are.

"At 27, Christine Bakke threw herself into “ex-gay” therapy offered by Christian churches. Now she’s coming out as one of the first women willing to discuss these controversial programs—and why they didn’t work."

Check out the transcript of the ABC segment here and read her story here.

Spitzer Plans to Introduce Gay Marriage Bill

New York Times
Published: April 23, 2007

Gov. Eliot Spitzer will introduce a bill in the coming weeks to legalize same-sex marriage in New York, his spokeswoman said Friday, a move that would propel New York to the forefront of one of the most contentious issues in politics.

Though he has long voiced support for same-sex marriage and promised during his campaign last year to introduce legislation to legalize it, Mr. Spitzer did not mention the issue in his State of the State speech in January or in remarks a week ago outlining his priorities for the remainder of the legislative session, which ends June 21.

But the spokeswoman, Christine Anderson, said that Mr. Spitzer would not back away from his campaign pledge.

"The governor made a commitment to advance a program bill, and he will fulfill that commitment during this legislative session," Ms. Anderson said, using the term that refers to legislation introduced directly by the governor rather than through a state agency or by the Legislature...

Click here to read the rest.

Bishop Orris Walker (Long Island) Responds to the Primates’ Communiqué

...One of my deepest concerns is that we talk about some of God’s children and refuse to talk with those very children about their experience and encounter with the Divine Lover of Humankind. Has my brother, Bishop Robinson of New Hampshire, actually been in deep dialogue with the Primates of the Communion? Have my brothers and sisters who work so diligently as priests in my diocese been contacted by other Bishops of the so-called Windsor Compliant Bishops, or by the Primates, to learn more about how God in Jesus is working great deeds in their ministry and their lives? I do not wish to presume that to be the case, but I dare say I would be shocked if that were true.

For forty years, this part of the Communion has listened, studied, prayed, discerned and come to hear the voice of the Spirit. Much like Peter in the Book of Acts, we have been moved by the Spirit of God to include those whom others consider unclean – but God through baptism, has made each and every one of us beloved and clean. This is about Jesus' Lordship. This is about Jesus in the lives of our LGBT brothers and sisters; and who are we to declare them unclean for God has called them chosen and his beloved. Our part of the Communion, in prayer, discernment, after much study and listening, are like Philip, who in that same Scriptural Book leaps out of the chariot and incorporates one considered an abomination by the religious establishment and "seeing nothing stopping him from doing so," baptized the Ethiopian eunuch.


Lambeth 1998 1.10 is often cited as if it were a dogmatic statement of the Church. So, has our brother the Archbishop of Nigeria stopped his moves to criminalize the sheep of the Lord entrusted to him by Jesus who happen to be gay? I saw no demand made of him, in this communiqué to do all in his power to stop this law, which he vocally and wholeheartedly supports, in compliance with the same resolution that he confronts us? If Lambeth resolutions have such gravitas, why do we ignore those resolutions of 1978 and 1988 which, if the current view is to be accepted, demand that we also use the sciences of sociology and psychology, to understand the issues surrounding human sexuality?


I have been down this road of the full inclusion of my brothers and sisters because of my race. I have been down this road for the full inclusion of my sisters as we made the ordination of women a reality to all the ordained ministries. I am now walking down this road again for the full inclusion of my brothers and sisters who are God's gay and lesbian children to share with us their God-given gifts for all of those same ordained ministries. We cannot go backwards, for we have heard the Spirit speaking to the Church. To go backward would be to say we have not acted under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and that would be to commit the greatest sin – to sin against the Spirit. [...] How we treat each child of God is how we treat God. How are we feeding the sheep Christ places in our charge? Lord, you know I love you!

A healthy response requires that we are all treated with equal integrity, dignity, and respect. This communiqué does not do so, in my opinion. I only wish that my brother, Bishop Robinson was also invited to talk with the Primates at Dar-es-Salaam, along with my brothers from Pittsburgh and Western Louisiana. Gene you do have it right: "This is not about a gay agenda. This is about God’s agenda. This is about Jesus’ agenda." "Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. Whoever welcomes a prophet in the name of a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward..." (Matthew 10:40-41)

Read the rest at

Saturday, April 21, 2007

And they didn't ask him any more questions ...

Response from Dr. Louie Crew -- who lists "founder of Integrity" as but one of many items on his resume -- to an inquiry about why LGBT folk should stay in the Episcopal Church. From his Blog/Natter:

Q. LGBTs are children of God=no rights, rites, or substantive membership in the club. Why join a club that doesn't want you?

A. That makes perfect sense if you are joining to be served, as one would expect to be at a club. However, the church is not a club, but the Body of Christ. In it we are called not to be served, but to serve. We do not come at the bidding of those momentarily in charge, but at the invitation of the Lord of the feast. If we don't show up, the church won't be the church.

If you want to be served and to be respected by the Church, shop around and find a denomination and a congregation that is farthest along in doing that. Rejoice when you do. And give thanks to those who came before you and worked to make it a safe and nurturing space; rest assured, not one church has always been so. Once there, devote your full energy to make it safe for those not yet welcome; look around you and you will discern who is missing. Go out and find them. Risk giving up your own welcome to make them welcome.

Or if called, find the church that doesn't welcome you. Bring the sacrificial love of Christ to them, not to receive God's blessing, but because you already have it. Speak that truth to them in season and out of season as you make your gifts available to serve among them. I assure you that your cruet will never run dry, that you can never give as much as you will receive, try though you must. Love your enemies. Do good to those who abuse you and say all manner of evil against you falsely for your faith's sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad.

The Lord is risen indeed, hallelujah!


State clergy rally for gay marriage bill

Connecticut Post

HARTFORD — Thirty clergy members from across the state made a symbolic march on the Capitol Thursday in an attempt to increase pressure on lawmakers to approve a bill that would allow same-sex couples to marry.

For the Rev. Mary Anne Osborn, a Fairfield minister, Thursday's event was about putting a human face on the controversy, which is keeping her from marrying her longtime partner.

Osborn, associate pastor at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, said she and the Rev. Joanne Neel-Richard have not participated in a civil union because they've taken steps on their own to ensure legal protections on inheritance, power of attorney, hospital visitation and other issues.

"We are waiting to be married," said Osborn, 55, after a morning press conference on the Capitol's third floor. "We've been together for 24 years and simply want the same dignity and opportunity afforded others."

Neel-Richard said she hopes her now 7-month-old granddaughter, Avery, will grow up with gay marriage as a right — and discrimination against committed same-sex couples a matter of history, similar to 80 years since women won the right to vote and the era of racially separated water fountains.

"Throughout the Jewish and Christian scriptures, God is depicted as turning away from legalistic obedience, empty festivals and self-righteous, willful, religious behaviors," Neel-Richard said. "Instead, God is found yearning for a people who will promote justice and live with compassion."

April 12, the Legislature's Judiciary Committee voted 27-15 to approve a bill legalizing same-sex marriage. Despite opposition from Gov. M. Jodi Rell, it is on the calendar of the House of Representatives. The General Assembly's deadline is June 6.

Read the rest at...

Theology of Gay And Lesbian Inclusion: Love Letters to the Church by D. G. Hanway

Book Review by Publishers Weekly

Hanway, a retired Episcopal priest, wants to equip Christians to advocate on behalf of gays and lesbians, and to speak with love and respect to those who disagree. He writes as a pastor, offering 10 open letters to the church in defense of homosexuals, often using their own words and descriptions of the prejudice they have encountered. These faithful homosexual Christians, Hanway says, did not choose their orientation, but have dealt patiently and faithfully with the difficulties of being misunderstood. Hanway also discusses the Bible's teachings on homosexuality, emphasizing that the Gospel is indeed "good news" for all people. The book is strongest when Hanway is sharing the personal stories of gay people who discuss their faith and their hopes for the future.

Click here for the Amazon listing.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Davis Mac-Iyalla Is Coming To The U.S.

Davis Mac-Iyalla, persecuted leader of Changing Attitude Nigeria, has been granted a visa to visit the United States. Davis will be traveling across the country from May 16th thru July 4th.

Click here for more information. Contact if you are interested in hosting a speaking engagement for Davis in your area.

Bishops prepare pastoral care plan for General Synod

Solange De Santis
staff writer
Anglican Journal
Apr 20, 2007
Niagara Falls, Ont.

Canada's Anglican bishops looked toward General Synod’s anticipated discussion on homosexuality by considering how they can pastorally respond, to whatever synod decides about the blessing of same-sex unions.

Meeting in a two-hour closed session on April 19, the bishops developed suggestions that were then presented in open session; they will be e-mailed to the bishops for further work and are intended to be presented to General Synod.

Among the pastoral responses would be statements that the church's bishops hope that baptism, communion and confirmation would not be denied because of a parent's or couple's sexual orientation or marital status. Another response would be that a civilly-married gay or lesbian couple may celebrate a eucharist (with the bishop's permission) that includes appropriate intercessory prayers, but not a nuptial blessing. The bishops also expressed an intention to recognize the ministry of licensed gay and lesbian clergy and acknowledge the pain and conflict they experience.

The bishops said in the draft document that the pastoral provisions are "not the same as the authorization of the blessing of same-sex unions or marriage." They acknowledge that they "await the outcome of General Synod," and say the provisions are "consistent with the doctrine of the church and our membership in the Anglican Communion and fit within the pastoral guidelines of the Windsor Report."

Conservative bishops, while agreeing that pastoral care is needed, objected to some aspects of the document. "Our clergy will say this is one more step leading to recognition of homosexual marriage," said Bishop Andrew Atagotaaluk of the diocese of the Arctic. Bishop William Anderson of Caledonia said it "reaches out to gays and lesbians" but would be seen as a “slap in the face to orthodox Anglicans."

Read the rest at

To Canadian Anglicans, from the House of Bishops

Apr. 20, 2007

Brothers and sisters in Christ

The House of Bishops met at Mount Carmel retreat center in Niagara Falls from Tuesday April 17 to Friday April 20. We write this letter to the Canadian Church so that Anglicans will know what we did and how the meeting was for us. As has been our custom for the last while, we devoted the first part of our days together to prayer and Bible study.


We devoted a significant amount of time to a discussion of a statement from the bishops of Rupert's Land about the resolutions on same-sex blessings produced by the Council of General Synod for the consideration of the General Synod. We also heard a substantive presentation by bishops of the Ecclesiastical Province of Ontario about how we as bishops should prepare for the outcome of the vote by General Synod on this issue, regardless of what that decision might be. We agreed that we as bishops must be prepared to offer a pastoral response regardless of the outcome of the vote at General Synod.

On our last day together we worked on a draft statement to members of the General Synod and to members of the church that offers pastoral responses to a decision on the blessing of same-sex unions. This document will be developed further by its authors and will then be submitted to members of the House for approval by email and, we hope, for inclusion in the Convening Circular.

Read the rest at

Christians Celebrate Religious Diversity

On Pentecost Sunday, May 27, 2007, Christian churches across the United States and beyond are dedicating their worship to a celebration of our interfaith world. Progressive Christians thank God for religious diversity! We don’t claim that our religion is superior to all others. We can grow closer to God and deeper in compassion—and we can understand our own traditions better—through a greater awareness of the world’s religions. Sponsored by The Center for Progressive Christianity - Pluralism Sunday, initiated by The Center for Progressive Christianity, will be promoted through our network of churches and other faith communities. Pluralism Sunday is co-sponsored by The Institute for Progressive Christianity, The Network of Spiritual Progressives, and CrossWalkAmerica. We are asking that churches interested in participating email our Pluralism Sunday Coordinator, Rev. Jim Burklo, with your name, your church and denomination, mailing address, and church website address. An Outreach Opportunity for Progressive Churches - Participating churches will be profiled in TCPC’s publicity releases, creating an evangelism opportunity for your congregation. The number of people looking on the TCPC website for churches like yours is topping 40,000 per month these days!

We believe Pluralism Sunday is an opportunity for progressive churches to reach some of the many people who are turned off by Christianity because of exclusivist claims some Christians make about it.

Also, email Jim with your ideas and your plans so that we can share them with the community.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Oregon Senate Bill 2 Passes 19-7 in Concurrence Vote

Basic Rights Oregon

The Oregon Equality Act, Senate Bill 2, has passed the Oregon Senate 19-7. Today's vote was a concurrence vote based on a small amendment to the religious exemption that simply clarified the exemption. The Oregon Equality Act would ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in areas such as housing, employment, public accommodation and public education. Next stop is the Governor's desk.

Clergy Call For Justice Press Conference

Watch Susan Russell and 7 faith leaders speak for equality at Tuesday's press conference on Capitol Hill. (Susan is one of the last speakers.)

Oregon House Passes Two Historic Bills for Basic Fairness and Equality

More details on historic legislation in Oregon...

Basic Rights Oregon
House Bill 2007 passes 34-26, Senate Bill 2 Passes 35-25; Both Bills Receive Bi-Partisan Support

(Salem, Oregon) Today, after nearly 4 hours of debate on the House floor, both The Oregon Family Fairness Act (House Bill 2007) and The Oregon Equality Act (Senate Bill 2) passed the Oregon House with bipartisan support.

Senate Bill 2 will ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in areas such as employment, housing, public accommodation and public education.

House Bill 2007 will create a new statute in Oregon law, separate from Oregon's marriage statutes, to provide same-sex couples with Domestic Partnerships. These Domestic Partnerships provide Oregon's same-sex couples and their families with many of the basic protections, rights, and responsibilities under state law, currently only afforded through a marriage contract. It differs substantially from marriage in several ways – including that the protections of Domestic Partnerships are not portable outside the boundaries of Oregon.

Click here to read the rest.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

A matter of faith

As it has before, the church should stand up for its beliefs in battle for inclusion
By John Lane, April 17, 2007
Episcopal Life Online

...The gay and lesbian population in the Episcopal Church is probably not much different than in the rest of society, but we have (in some places) created a climate where people are not afraid to admit their orientation and relationships and do not live in fear that by doing so they will be persecuted.

The battle in the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion is not a simple battle between righteousness and sin. Those who have fought for years for the theological truth that we all are seen as equal in the sight of God believe there is something more at stake here than some kind of willy-nilly flouting of the things that God really wants us to concentrate on.
When people throughout the world are losing jobs, are having their houses burned down, cannot gather together in public without breaking the law and are lynched and murdered without their killers being brought to justice, in all these cases because they are gay, then we aren't talking about something inconsequential. As long as we wait to do justice for these people and delay telling the rest of the world that we no longer are willing to live with homophobia and discrimination, then I think we put our mortal souls in peril. This is a faith issue, not just some kind of half-baked sociological exercise.

The archbishop of Nigeria and others already have crossed provincial boundaries and invaded the Episcopal Church and have repeatedly said that they would not stop doing so. Why should we say that we are wrong to be passionate about the place of all God's children in his church, that we admit that we've been bad, and think that making nice for a few years with people whose opinions about gays we abhor will somehow bring love and unity?

The archbishop of Nigeria is standing up for what he believes. Why should we do less?

Click here to read the entire article.

Anglican stance on gays a 'shambles'

Tuesday 17 April, 2007

The Anglican Church continues to drown in a gay quagmire of its own making. Their stance on homosexuality was declared a 'shambles' yesterday by a member of its own national assembly from Norwich.

Susan Johns, who represents the Diocese of Norwich on the General Synod, said she couldn’t fathom the situation whereby gay clergy were punished for being upfront about their sexuality, but supported if they kept it under wraps.

Johns was giving evidence at an employment tribunal in Cardiff brought by former Diocese of Norwich youth worker John Reaney, who was turned down for the same position by the Bishop of Hereford, the Rt Rev Anthony Priddis, in July of last year.

Mr Reaney, 41-year-old from Colwyn Bay, north Wales, believes his sexuality affected his job prospects and is claiming unlawful discrimination against the Hereford Diocesan Board of Finance under the Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003.

She described him as a "fantastic," "inspirational" and a "tireless" man the church could not afford to lose. She said: "The Church of England has no coherent position on homosexuality: in my opinion it is a shambles.

"As a worldwide Anglican community, we are meant to be engaging in a listening process. Yet at the General Synod in February 2007, at the end of the debates on sexuality - there were two - one of the members specifically asked if it was possible not to discuss homosexuality for four years.

"While I can understand the sentiment, debating is not the ideal way to listen. I cannot understand how a faith that professes to be open, honest and truthful can condone a situation whereby if a member of clergy covers up their same sex relationships, it is acceptable but if they are open and honest and a person of integrity, there is condemnation and discrimination."

Click here to read the rest.

My day with the Archbishop of Canterbury

Wednesday, April 18

So what is the Archbishop of Canterbury doing at a Roman Catholic monastery, anyway?

Sounds a little like the plot for a Monty Python movie, but that was my assignment Tuesday.

Offered the chance to stake out the spiritual head of the 77-million-strong worldwide Anglican Communion, I couldn't say no.

After all, I'm Anglican. I'm nosy. Most important, I just hate taking no for an answer.


Faintly, over the roar of the falls I could hear music in the distance.

As we walked toward the front gate, we discovered three people - a woman and two priests - singing.

I had half-expected demonstrators of some kind to be camped out in hopes of catching the attention of church authorities. These folks had travelled from the United States to pray for those attending the meeting, and to give thanks that the day previous, Williams had announced he plans to visit the church in that country.

"We're not here to protest," said Rev. William Wipfler, a retired priest from West Seneca, N.Y. "We're here to offer our prayerful support."

Click here to read the rest of this humorous article.

A Report From The Prayer Vigil

by the Rev. Michael Hartney (

A small band of Episcopalians, lay and ordained from the Dioceses of Rochester and Western New York, gathered near the Mount Carmel Spiritual Centre in Niagara Falls, Ontario, today to pray for the House of Bishops of the Anglican Church of Canada and their retreat leader, Archbishop Williams. We sang Morning Prayer with canticles and hymns, and Easter hymns for two hours. During that time we were visited by several of the Canadian Bishops (who crossed the street to join us). Among them were the Bishops of Montreal, British Columbia, the Arctic and the Archbishop of Rupert's Land. Two plain clothed officers also visited us (an Ontario Provincial Policeman and a Detective from Toronto assigned, he said, as the Archbishop's body guard). These men informed us that we were not welcome on the grounds of the Mount Carmel Spiritual Centre, but that we were welcome to remain on the sidewalk outside their grounds. Though the Archbishop of Canterbury will no doubt deny it , we take full credit for his announcement [Monday] that he has agreed to meet with our House of Bishops in New Orleans in September.

It just proves the power of prayer--even the threat of prayer!

Alleluia! Christ is risen.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Archbishop will not cancel Lambeth Conference

'Open question' who will be invited to bishops' gathering
Solange De Santis
staff writer
Anglican Journal
Apr 17, 2007
Niagara Falls, Ont.

Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams considered cancelling the 2008 Lambeth Conference of the world’s Anglican bishops due to the sexuality debates roiling the church, but decided against it.

"Yes, we’ve already been considering that and the answer is no. We’ve been looking at whether the timing is right, but if we wait for the ideal time, we will wait more than just 18 months," he told the Anglican Journal in an exclusive interview.


In the past, all Anglican bishops have been invited to Lambeth – held once every 10 years – by the Archbishop of Canterbury. In recent months, there has been speculation that bishops from North America might not be invited due to actions liberalizing church attitudes toward homosexuality – actions vociferously opposed by other churches, primarily in Africa. There is an additional threat of a boycott by some if the North Americans are invited.

"It's a genuinely open question. I don’t think I'll have anything very sensible to say until I listen more to what's going on here and south of the border," Archbishop Williams said. Responding to an urgent request from the American church, Archbishop Williams said on April 16 that he intended to meet with the U.S. bishops at their regularly-scheduled September meeting.

Click here to read the rest.

Oregon House Passes Domestice Partnerships Bill

Basic Rights Oregon

Literally moments ago, the Oregon House passed House Bill 2007, creating domestic partnerships with over 500 rights, protections and responsibilities for GLBT families. It passed with bipartisan support – 34 Yes to 26 No. This is a historic day.

Click here for more info.


Human Rights Campaign
For Immediate Release:
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
'Clergy Call for Justice and Equality' Featured Prominent Faith Leaders Calling for Fairness for All God’s Children

WASHINGTON — In a historic showing of religious support for the passage of two major pieces of civil rights legislation, hundreds of clergy from a diverse reflection of America’s faith backgrounds gathered on Capitol Hill today to lobby their respective members of Congress to end workplace discrimination against their fellow brothers and sisters and pass the much-needed hate crimes bill this year.

"For too long, there has been a false perception in American politics that faith and religion stand diametrically opposed to equality for GLBT Americans,” said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. "The hundreds of clergy joining us are here because they understand that we are all God’s children, and our differing sexual orientations and our differing gender identities are not shameful sins, but rather amazing gifts from God."

The Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act, called the Matthew Shepard Act in the Senate, adds sexual orientation, gender, gender identity and disability to existing federal law conferring authority on the federal government to investigate and prosecute violent crimes. This authority already exists for crimes committed because of the victim’s race, color, religion and national origin and because they were attempting to exercise a federally protected right. The bill ensures a federal backstop to assist local law enforcement in those cases in which they request assistance or fail to adequately investigate or prosecute these serious crimes. The bill would also provide assistance to local law enforcement for investigating and prosecuting bias-motivated violent crimes.

The Employment Non-Discrimination Act would address discrimination in the workplace by making it illegal to fire, refuse to hire or refuse to promote an employee simply based on the person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. It would reinforce the principle that employment decisions should be based on a person’s qualifications and job performance.


Said the Rev. Susan Russell, senior associate for parish life at All Saints Episcopal Church (Pasadena, Calif.):"My son Jaime is currently serving on active duty in Iraq. One of the core American values he was raised to embrace — and he understands himself to be defending — is our pledge to be a nation of ‘liberty and justice for all.’ I believe these important pieces of legislation will help move us as a nation toward that long-dreamed-of goal — that dream of liberty and justice my son and so many other brave Americans in harm’s way have sworn to preserve and protect."

Click here to read the rest.

Response to ABC "Listening to Scripture"

From Bill Carroll at Anglican Resistance writing on Archbishop Rowan Williams lecture to theology students in Canada. From the last few paragraphs:

It is not sufficient in my view to acknowledge the tensions present in the text, which only a strict fundamentalist ignores (and does so at the price of any academic or intellectual integrity). One must also recognize that there are ideologies present in the text which actually corrupt and destroy the liberatory thrust of the Good News (as well as of Torah, prophets, and other writings) and that these ideologies are used by Christians today, including Christians in the churches of the Anglican communion, to deadly effect. The point made by the citation from Elisabeth Schussler Fiorenza, which I have summarized as follows "portions of Scripture were written and canonized to marginalize women," is too important to ignore.

What I see operative in Williams' thoughts here is an emphasis on the "hermeneutics of retrieval" over the "hermeneutics of suspicion" (see the writings of David Tracy and Paul Ricoeur). He seems to fear that giving the well founded suspicions of feminists, Marxists, Freudians, queer theorists, etc. their due place within a Christian theological hermeneutics will mean giving away the store, i.e. making Scripture "one element in a merely modern landscape of conflicts." Rather, can we not insist that these suspicions arise from the heart of the Eucharistic assembly itself, as this diverse community, growing under the Spirit's influence into the fullness of Christ, seeks a faithful response to the Word of God? Until we admit that portions of our sacred text serve an anti-Kingdom, anti-Gospel agenda and were written to do so, we cannot take adequate account of the contradictory collection of writings, which I too hope to listen to, as a whole, as the record of God's mighty acts in salvation history and as the contemporary means by which God addresses human beings and calls into being a People out of nothing. The need for ideological criticism of Scripture is aptly demonstrated by feminist theologian and biblical critic Sandra Schneiders, whom no one can accuse of ignoring the theological sense of the text.

I am deeply troubled by Williams remark that "The canon is presented to us as a whole, whose unity is real and coherent, even if not superficially smooth." The book of Joshua alone, with its conquest narrative, should give us pause. So should the texts of terror discussed so well by Phyllis Trible. The Bible countenances holy war, putting captives to death by the sword, rape, and other atrocities. Williams appeals to the Shoah, the Holocaust, which we just commemorated. (At Ohio University Hillel's service for Yom HaShoah, we also remembered the victims of the Holocaust who were of African descent, physically and mentally handicapped, Roma (Gypsies), Jehovah's Witnesses, and--YES--LGBT persons). Doesn't this memory, to say nothing of the anamnesis of the crucifixion, point us in a direction where more interruptive, disruptive voices must be heard? As Thomas Aquinas once wrote, "Every truth, no matter by whom it may be spoken, comes from the Holy Spirit." The unity of the canon is the person of God whose story is told there, as well as the People whom God calls into being. But the story is filled with inconsistencies and contradictions. A superficial attempt to find coherence is at least as dangerous and unfaithful to the canon as those positions which, overwhelmed by the superficial contradictions, find no meaning or truth there. The ecclesiological corollary, which Williams seems also to ignore, is that some forms of unity are sinful. Williams apparent hostility to Enlightenment liberalism needs to be countered by voices like David Tracy's, who acknowledges the ambiguities of the Enlightenment project, without rejecting its unfulfilled emancipatory possibilities. We do not have to choose between an adequate theological hermeneutics and the critical thrust of the Enlightenment. In fact, those hermeneutics which ignore the voices of suspicion may be shown to be inadequate on strictly theological grounds.
Read it all here

CLOUT Job Announcement

For immediate release:

CLOUT (Christian Lesbians OUT) announces a search for a new CLOUT National Coordinator to provide coordination, administration and support to the CLOUT Council in order to facilitate the smooth running of its mostly-volunteer organization. A complete job description for this part-time position is posted on the CLOUT web site: Interested candidates should send a letter of application, a resume and names of three references with contact information to no later than May 8, 2007.

Williams says gay-marriage split would hurt church

By Scott Valentine
Mon 16 Apr 2007

TORONTO (Reuters) - Everyone would lose if the Anglican Church splits in two over the issue of gay marriage, the Archbishop of Canterbury said on Monday.

Dr. Rowan Williams, head of the worldwide Anglican Church, told a news conference in Toronto it was worth trying to preserve the unity of the church as long as possible.

"We may come to a point where people feel there are irreconcilable differences," said Williams. "But when there is an overlap between human rights and what the church can endorse, it does no good to isolate ideas... If the Anglican church divides, everyone will lose."

Williams has been walking a fine line of late in the raging debate over gay rights within the Anglican Church.

Last month, leaders of the U.S. Episcopal Church rejected a demand by conservative bishops for the American communion to give up authority over parishes that wish to remain closed to same-sex unions.

That irked several influential bishops in Africa and elsewhere who have staked out a conservative stance on homosexuality, which one has described as "an aberration unknown even in animal relationships."

The archbishop was quick to distance himself from that perspective on Monday, saying "I have consistently opposed any idea that gay and lesbian people are anything less than human and fully baptized members of the church."


"It is not just a case of nice people who want to include gay people in the church and nasty ones who do not," said Williams. "It is a question of what marriage is according to church doctrine and what types of behaviours that the church has the power to bless."

Click here to read the rest.

Archbishop of Canterbury - church needs to listen properly to the bible

Apr. 16, 2007 -- The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan WIlliams, has told an audience of theological students that both intensely liberal and ultra conservative readings of the Bible are 'rootless' and are limited in what they can contribute to the life of the church. In the Larkin Stuart lecture, delivered today at an event hosted jointly by Wycliffe and Trinity theological colleges in Toronto, Dr Williams said that Christians need to reconnect with scripture as something to be listened to and heard in the context of Jesus's invitation to the Eucharist and to work for the Kingdom.

"... The Church's public use of the Bible represents the Church as defined in some important way by listening: the community when it comes together doesn't only break bread and reflect together and intercede, it silences itself to hear something. It represents itself in that moment as a community existing in response to a word of summons or invitation, to an act of communication that requires to be heard and answered."

This, he argues, is crucial in the way in which the communities of Christians are informed by what the Scriptures say:

"Take Scripture out of this context of the invitation to sit at table with Jesus and to be incorporated into his labour and suffering for the Kingdom, and you will be treating Scripture as either simply an inspired supernatural guide for individual conduct or a piece of detached historical record - the typical exaggerations of Biblicist and liberal approaches respectively."


Similarly, St Paul's denunciation of homosexuality in Romans 1 v 27 also needed to be properly heard as an ancilliary point in an argument about another matter entirely. That did not diminish its force but made it harder either to discard it or to use it as a definite proof text.

"It is not helpful for a 'liberal' or revisionist case, since the whole point of Paul's rhetorical gambit is that everyone in his imagined readership agrees in thinking the same sex relations of the culture around them to be as obviously immoral as idol-worship or disobedience to parents. It is not very helpful to the conervative either, though, because Paul insists on shifting the focus away from the objects of moral disapprobation in chapter 1 to the reading / hearing subject who has at this point been happily identifying with Paul's castigation of someone else ... Paul is making a primary point not about homosexuality but about the delusions of the supposedly law- abiding."

Click here to read the entire lecture.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Oregon House of Representatives to vote Equality Act

The Oregon House of Representatives is expected to vote on BOTH the Oregon
Equality Act (SB 2) and the Oregon Family Fairness Act (HB 2007) TOMORROW,
April 17th at the Capitol in Salem. Join us to watch history in the making!
If we don't fill the gallery with supporters, the opposition will fill it
with their people. So it's crucial that you join us for this historic event.
Let's fill the room with supportive faces and show our State Representatives
that Oregonians believe in basic fairness and equality--and that IT'S TIME!

For information on how you can help Click HERE

Williams will meet with U.S. bishops

Archbishop of Canterbury will attend September gathering
Solange De Santis,
staff writer
Anglican Journal

Apr 16, 2007

Ending weeks of speculation and criticism, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams said he will meet with bishops in the United States to discuss tensions in the worldwide Anglican church caused by differences over homosexuality.

Speaking at a news conference at the Anglican Church of Canada’s national office in Toronto on April 16, Archbishop Williams said he will attend the regularly-scheduled fall meeting of house of bishops of the Episcopal Church, as the Anglican church is known in the United States. It is set to take place in New Orleans, Sept. 20-25. The visit comes after the U.S. bishops’ meeting in March, at which they rejected demands placed on them by the primates (senior bishops) a month earlier; they instead issued an urgent call for a consultation with Archbishop Williams.

"Whatever has been said in the press, there’s never been any suggestion I should decline that invitation. These are difficult days because I think the (global Anglican) Communion in recent years has had to face the fact that the division on certain subjects, especially human sexuality, has been getting much more deep and bitter and threatens to divide us," he said.


At the Toronto news conference, Archbishop Williams said he intends to go to the September conference with several members of the standing committee of the Anglican Consultative Council, an internationally representative group. He said he also hoped to understand, from the meeting, the problems the primates’ request is causing for the American church, under its constitution. "I'm still waiting to see what the Episcopal Church will come up with as an alternative. The reaction was a very strongly worded protest against what they see as interference, but if not that, then what? I’ve spoken privately to people in the United States and am waiting to see," he said.


Archbishop Williams will spend April 17 at the regularly-scheduled spring meeting of the Canadian house of bishops in Niagara Falls, leading a day of retreat. He was asked what the consequences might be if the Canadian church’s governing convention, General Synod, decides at its June meeting to allow dioceses the so-called "local option" of deciding whether to bless of same-sex unions and to explore changing the marriage canon (church law) to admit gay couples.

"I won’t speculate on outcomes, but I don’t think it takes rocket science to work out that (a positive decision) will pose some problems," he said. Anglican churches in other areas of world, particularly in the southern hemisphere, are vehemently against liberalizing attitudes toward homosexuality, believing it contrary to Scripture.

Click here to read the rest.

Click here for photos.

Religious Leaders Speak Out for GLBT Rights

Susan Russell and several other clergy spoke on Capitol Hill today in support of two major pieces of civil rights legislation — a bill to prevent hate violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity and another to ban workplace discrimination against GLBT employees. Here are Susan's remarks...

I am the Reverend Susan Russell, a priest on staff at All Saints Church in Pasadena, California and President of Integrity, the voice of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Christians in the Episcopal Church USA. It is a privilege to stand here today in solidarity with other faith leaders and with a majority of Americans who believe the federal government should act to end workplace discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender workers. It is an honor to represent the Episcopal Church which stands as one of the over 210 law enforcement, civil rights, civic and religious organizations supporting the passage of the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act. And I thank you for this opportunity to witness to the core values I hold dearest as an Episcopal priest and as an American citizen.

My son Jamie is currently serving on active duty in Iraq. One of the core American values he was raised to embrace -- and he understands himself to be defending -- is our pledge to be a nation of "liberty and justice for all." I believe these important pieces of legislation will help move us AS a nation toward that long dreamed of goal – that dream of liberty and justice my son and so many other brave Americans in harm's way have sworn to preserve and protect.

We are not yet that nation when the liberty to walk safely on the streets of America protected from bias motivated violence is not yet available to ALL Americans: passing the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act will bring us one step closer to "liberty for all."

We are not yet that nation when in thirty-three states a hardworking American can be subject to the injustice of losing their job solely because of their sexual orientation or gender identity; passing the Employment Non-Discrimination Act will bring us another step closer to "justice for all."

One of the primary tenets of all religious faiths is to love your neighbor as yourself and as a Christian I follow a Lord who called us to minister unto the needs of "the least of these" as we live out our call to do justice and to love mercy in His Name. These are the Traditional Christian Values I claim as an advocate for these critical pieces of legislation today.

Martin Luther King Jr. famously said, “Justice deferred is justice denied.” Extending hate crimes protection to include sexual orientation or gender identity is the right thing to do and now is the time to do it. Ending workplace discrimination is the right thing to do and now is the time to do it. Thank you.

Click here to read remarks by other clergy.

Archbishop of Canterbury announces plans to visit the Episcopal Church

BREAKING NEWS from Episcopal News Service:

Archbishop of Canterbury announces plans to visit the Episcopal Church
April 16, 2007

[Lambeth Palace] The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, has announced that he intends to visit the United States this fall in response to the invitation from the House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church.

Speaking in a press conference in Toronto April 16, Williams said he would undertake the visit together with members of the Standing Committee of the Primates and the Anglican Consultative Council.

"I look forward to some sharing of our experiences as pastors as well as discussion of the business of the Communion," he said. "These are complicated days for our church internationally and its all the more important to keep up personal relationships and conversations ... My aim is to try and keep people around the table for as long as possible on this, to understand one another, and to encourage local churches."

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Why the church must ease the pain of Rowan's Passion

Richard Harries
Sunday April 8, 2007
The Observer

Richard Harries (Lord Harries of Pentregarth) is a former Bishop of Oxford and an honorary professor of theology at King's College, London.

I once said to Rowan Williams: 'God has given you all the gifts and, as your punishment, he has made you Archbishop of Canterbury.' I might have added: 'at this time', for the issue over which the Anglican Communion is so divided is one that might have been specially selected to tear Rowan in two. And it has been a particularly bad Passiontide, with almost all the newspapers ranged against him.


But the pivotal point was his refusal to go ahead with the consecration of Jeffrey John, whom I had nominated as Bishop of Reading. In retrospect, the archbishop and I could have handled things differently, but there were two things against us. One was the fact that the Anglican Communion was already dividing on the consecration of Bishop Gene Robinson in the United States, and opponents, quite wrongly in my view, put Jeffrey John in the same category (because Jeffrey had been celibate for a considerable period of time). Second, we did not anticipate the flood of emails from round the communion, stirred up by one or two evangelicals in the Church of England, which put huge pressure on Lambeth.

It became clear to the archbishop that if he was going to have any hope of holding the Anglican Communion together, he could not be associated with the consecration of Jeffrey. That remains a great sadness, Jeffrey, while doing a great job as dean of St Albans, would still make a superb bishop. For Rowan, it was a devastating decision to have to make. All his sympathies are with gay and lesbian people, and he is an old friend of Jeffrey. But he has a very high regard for the doctrine of the church and, as archbishop, it is his responsibility to safeguard its unity.


The extent of his personal trauma - trying to hold together his convictions and his role as archbishop in what claims to be a branch of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church - became clear at a private meeting of the House of Bishops where he simply shared what was in his heart for more than an hour. There was a profound receptivity and one tough-minded bishop, of a rather different mind from that of the archbishop, was reduced to tears.


Passiontide is when Christians try to enter more deeply into the anguish of Christ. It has been a particularly painful Passiontide for Rowan. After the American church made it clear that it will not go along with the compromise hammered out at the bishops' conference in Tanzania (alternative pastoral oversight for dissenting congregations), criticism came not just from evangelicals, but also from his natural constituency who believe Rowan has not been supportive enough of gay people.

Click here to read the rest.

Africa and homosexuality

In denial
Apr 12th 2007
From The Economist print edition

Anglican divisions are a reminder that homophobia in Africa is still the norm

In a nice twist of missionary history, several of America's oldest and richest Anglican parishes now claim to be under the authority of African bishops. The issue that has led them to renounce their own national leadership is homosexuality; some of the minority of Anglicans (or Episcopalians) who object to gay bishops in American dioceses are aligning with conservatives in Africa. The most influential is Archbishop Peter Akinola, who leads the 17m-strong Anglican church in Nigeria, as well as his new congregants in Virginia. His hostility to homosexuality may reflect mainstream African opinion, but he is pragmatic too. His conservative reading of the Bible helps protect his Anglican flank against the fast-growing Pentecostalists. It also seeks common ground with Nigeria's homophobic Muslims.


Africa's Anglican clergymen get little education in sexuality. Some preach abstinence yet turn a blind eye to polygamous marriages, adultery and genital mutilation. Christopher Senyonjo, a retired Anglican bishop in Uganda, is one of only a small number of African Anglicans who challenge the conservatives. The hounding of homosexuals, he says, is the "opposite of Christlike".


Only South Africa's Anglicans, who played a big part in combating apartheid, offer some sort of counterbalance. The church there has spoken up for homosexual rights. The government has legalised same-sex marriage. But campaigners say that South African lesbians are now being targeted by homophobic men—and sometimes even gang-raped.

Click here to read the rest.

Anglican Church In Australia 'Not Safe' For Gay Christians

by Benedict Brook
Sydney Star Observer
Published 5 Arp 2007

The Anglican Church in Australia has admitted it may "not be a safe place" for gay and lesbian Christians and that insensitive Church leaders have made gay parishioners "too vulnerable to speak publicly".

The admission comes in an interim report documenting the Listening Process – a drive by the global Anglican communion to understand the needs of gay and lesbian members of its community.

However, far from listening, the report compiled by Dr Muriel Porter, a member of the governing body of the Anglican Church in Australia, says some sections of the Australian Anglican Church have actively ignored the views of gay and lesbian parishioners.

According to the report, it has been almost impossible to discern the experiences of gay clergy and lay people because "the processes involved did not enable this kind of listening, or because gay people felt too vulnerable to speak publicly. In some cases, responses to gay people who attempt to communicate their experiences have been insensitive."

Porter said attempts by diocese to listen to the views of gay and lesbian people were often a "scarifying experience" and that one person had told her the listening process "became a time of shouting rather than listening"...

Click here to read the rest.

The Rt. Rev. Gene Robinson speaks at Vanderbilt

Click Here for the link to +Gene speaking in Tennessee. Beginning with Isaiah 6 Gene talks about how we can tell our own story of salvation, how we know that we are beloved of God and what are we doing about it.

Former Abp of Canada says stay strong to TEC

A gentle call to stay strong
Former Canadian religious leader urges Anglicans not to bow to pressure from conservatives on same-sex blessings

April 14, 2007
Stuart Laidlaw

Faith and Ethics Reporter
OTTAWA–Choosing his words carefully, the longtime former leader of the Canadian Anglican Church opened a conference on gay rights in the church last night with a gentle, but deliberate, nudge toward acceptance and a rejection of rigid doctrine.

"Matters of doctrine become matters of control," Michael Peers, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada from 1986 to 2004, said, breaking three years of public silence.

read it all HERE

Having promised his successor, Andrew Hutchison, he would not interfere in his work, Peers cautiously addressed the Whole Message Conference of gay Anglicans, focused on past conflicts over doctrine, such as the ordination of women in the 1970s. One prominent newspaper "was gleefully predicting the death of Anglicanism worldwide."

With such predictions again being made, this time over gay rights, Peers warned arguments over doctrine become divisive when one group tries to impose its views on others.

That, he said, is not the Anglican way, and pleaded his church not bow to pressure from conservative leaders in the church, led by powerful group of African bishops, to force doctrine on the rest of the communion.

"Generally speaking, the tradition in the church has been, I don't like what is happening in my church, so I must leave."

"Not, I don't like what is happening – you must leave."

The problem the church has confronted over and over since the 16th century is that faith evolves into doctrine and doctrine evolves into order, Peers said.

When doctrine and order get mixed up, he warned, questions of faith get lost. And that, he said, is dangerous to good theology.

Friday, April 13, 2007

New Life for the Grace crew?

by Ralph Routon
Colorado Springs Independent
April 12-18, 2007

For those who have been paying attention, the sad internal strife at Grace Church has been enough to make a heathen shudder.

As of Easter Sunday, the highlight of the Christian calendar, the Grace members who feel loyal and committed to the Episcopal Church of the United States found themselves unwelcome at their own church building. Instead, they had to celebrate Easter in exile at Colorado College's Shove Chapel.


And people wonder why churches aren't as large or influential as they once were. Especially when a congregation as established and deep-rooted as Grace's can split in such a deplorable manner—with the "breakaway" group seizing control of the church complex and embracing a Nigerian archbishop who believes homosexuals and their supporters should be imprisoned.

Let's be more specific. Archbishop Peter Akinola supports the idea of Nigeria's government making same-sex relationships criminal. He also favors Nigeria outlawing positive publicity for homosexuals "through the electronic or print media, physically, directly, indirectly or otherwise..."


Here are some of Akinola's own words in a "message to the nation" of Nigeria, just last September: The Church affirms our commitment to the total rejection of the evil of homosexuality which is a perversion of human dignity and encourages the National Assembly to ratify the Bill prohibiting the legality of homosexuality since it is incongruent with the teachings of the Bible, Quran and the basic African traditional values.

Click here to read the rest.

Creating Change 2008

Originally printed 04/12/2007 (Issue 1515 - Between The Lines News)

Creating Change 2008 will take place at the Detroit Marriott Feb. 6-12. NAACP Chair Julian Bond and the Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson, Bishop of New Hampshire and the first openly-gay bishop in the Episcopal church, will be two of the keynote speakers. Since 1988, more than 30,000 activist leaders have benefited from the training and camaraderie of Creating Change. Countless organizations have been birthed, nurtured and strengthened at the conference.

For more information on the conference, visit

Same-sex marriage faces Judiciary Committee

By: Bridget Albert, Editor
The Orange Bulletin

Following more than 11 hours of hearings last week the state Judiciary Committee debated and listened to arguments for and against same-sex marriage.

In 2005, Connecticut, in an overwhelming legislative vote, became the first state to recognize same-sex couples with civil unions without being forced to by the court system.

Earlier this year, Gov. M. Jodi Rell said she'd veto any legislation that allows gay and lesbian couples to marry. Rell signed the civil union bill in 2005.

But many believe gays should be allowed to marry.

Eileen Doyle, of Milford, said before she got involved with the Gay/Straight Alliance at her church, Mary Taylor Memorial, United Methodist Church, she didn't think much about the issue.

"I never gave much thought to gays marrying until about four years ago when the church created the Alliance," Doyle said.

"Since then I have gone to Hartford to lobby for their recognition. I have come to know gay people and realized the only difference is sexual orientation. They are wonderful people," Doyle said.

"They deserve the same rights as heterosexuals. They also deserve the social recognition that marriage brings. This is not just for them but also their family, children, parents," Doyle said.

"We're all God's children. He doesn't turn his back on anyone and neither should we," Doyle said...

Click here to read the rest.

CT Judiciary Committee approves gay marriage bill

by Susan Haigh
Associated Press
Thursday Apr 12, 2007

A bill that would make Connecticut the second state in the nation to allow gay couples to marry passed its first legislative hurdle Thursday.

The Judiciary Committee voted 27-15 to approve the bill, which next goes to the House of Representatives, where its prospects are uncertain.

Two years ago, Connecticut approved civil unions for gay and lesbian couples, granting them all of the state rights and privileges of married couples. But gay rights advocates called on the legislature to take the final step this session and allow gay couples to marry...

Click here to read the rest.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

The Whole Message Conference: 13-14 April 2007

The Whole Message Conference
Inclusiveness in the Anglican Church of Canada
13 - 14 April 2007

Go, stand in the temple and tell the people the whole message about this life.
Acts 5:20

Friday 13 April
7:30 p.m.

Friday evening keynote address:

"In for the long haul"
By The Most Reverend Michael Peers
Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, 1986-2004

Saturday, 14 April
9 a.m. to 6 p.m
Opening Plenary:
Theological and Scriptural Models of the “Inclusive Church”
By The Rev. Professor Patricia G. Kirkpatrick,
McGill University, Faculty of Religious Studies, Montreal

Second Plenary
"The Episcopal Church: A Half Century of Turbulence and Transformation"
By The Right Reverend Arthur E.Walmsley,
Bishop of Connecticut, 1979-2003; Chaplain, Diocese of New Hampshire

Saturday Workshop Facilitators:

Dr. Patricia Bays, Windsor Report Response Group
The Reverend Canon Allen Box, Canadian delegate, Anglican Consultative Council
The Reverend Canon Douglas Graydon, Chaplaincy Services, Diocese of Toronto
Dr. Robert Moore, member, Primate's Theological Commission, Anglican Church of Canada
The Reverend Dr. Linda Privitera, Chaplain, Integrity Ottawa
Dr. John Thorp, Graduate Faculty of Theology, Huron College, University of Western Ontario
Rt. Rev. Ann Tottenham, Suffragan Bishop of Toronto, 1997-2005

Saturday Closing Plenary:
Heading towards Pentecost: "The Whole Message"
With Panel and Audience participation

For more information Click HERE

So +Cantuar has time to go to CANADA ...

Media Advisory: News conference with Dr. Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury

Apr. 11, 2007 -- Archbishop of Canterbury Dr. Rowan Williams will answer questions from accredited Canadian news media representatives at a news conference at 10:45 a.m., Monday, April 16, at the Anglican Church of Canada’s National Office, 80 Hayden Street, Toronto.

Archbishop Williams is on a short visit to Canada during which he will deliver this year’s Larkin-Stuart Lecture at the MacMillan Theatre, University of Toronto on April 16.

On April 17, Archbishop Williams will be in Niagara Falls, Ont., where he will lead a one-day retreat at the spring meeting of the Anglican House of Bishops. This event is closed to media.
Monday’s news conference will begin promptly at 10:45 a.m. and last approximately half an hour. This will be Archbishop Williams’ only encounter with Canadian media during this visit.

For more information click here

Prayer Vigil For Canadian House of Bishops

Clergy and laypersons of The Episcopal Church will support the House of Bishops of the Anglican Church of Canada at their Spring Retreat with a prayer vigil on Tuesday, April 17, from 10-12 Noon (EDT). The Canadian House of Bishops is meeting next week at the Mount Carmel Spiritual Centre which overlooks the Niagara Falls, in Niagara Falls, Ontario. On Tuesday they will be led in retreat by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams. The prayer vigil will be in prayerful, respectful support of the Canadian House of Bishops for their retreat and that the Archbishop of Canterbury will soon accept the invitation of our own House of Bishops for a similar meeting. Information regarding the vigil may be obtained from: Earle King, Deputy from Western New York [] or Michael Hartney, former Deputy from Western New York [].

Civil unions draw debate

Nashua Telegraph
Published: Wednesday, Apr. 11, 2007

Supporters and opponents of civil unions for gay and lesbian couples traded emotional stories during the bill’s final public hearing Tuesday.


Gene Robinson, the openly gay bishop of the Episcopal Church in New Hampshire, said he and his partner of 20 years pay property taxes in Weare and volunteer for town and civic causes but don’t enjoy the same rights as married couples.

“We support our state in every way asked of us by our citizens, yet we don’t get equal treatment in return,” Robinson said.

Click here to read the rest.

Ministers put pressure on lawmakers for gay rights

Thursday, April 12, 200

DES MOINES — More than a dozen ministers and other religious leaders pressured the Legislature Tuesday to expand the state’s civil rights laws to offer new protections for gays and lesbians.


Joining the religious leaders was the Rt. Rev. Alan Scarfe, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Iowa. That church, part of the global Anglican Communion, has faced its own debate over gay issues, including whether to ordain openly gay ministers.

Click here to read the rest.

Gay bishop speaks in favor of N.H. civil unions

The Advoate
April 12, 2007

V. Gene Robinson, the Episcopal Church's sole openly gay bishop, added his voice to New Hampshire's civil unions debate, saying legalizing same-sex unions doesn't threaten religion or families.

Robinson testified at a state senate hearing on civil unions, which passed the house last week. He said he went to the legislature as a religious leader and a New Hampshire citizen seeking equality for himself and his partner of nearly 20 years.

"What we seek in the civil realm is the equal treatment by the state government in supporting this development of our relationship with the legal, financial, and societal underpinnings which are afforded married couples at the very moment they say 'I do,' " he said.


"Would that we could get all heterosexual couples to take these commitments and responsibilities so seriously," he said.


"This legislation simply has nothing do to with religious bodies and their affirmation or rejection of such unions in the civil realm," he said.

Click here to read the rest.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Other Sheep Seeks Donors to Sponsor LGBT Summer Discussion Groups in Nairobi, Kenya

For Immediate Release
Today's Date: April 11, 2007

Ishtar MSM Invites Other Sheep to Nairobi, Kenya, for Summer 2007.

Emmanuel Kamau (known as "Aunty Ivy" throughout Africa) has invited Steve Parelli and Jose Ortiz of Other Sheep to come to Nairobi, Kenya, this summer (July and August 2007) to conduct "safe space" groups that will focus on instruction and discussion on issues and interests pertaining to homosexuality.

Weekly Meetings Planned for Three Different Locations in Nairobi, Kenya.

Steve Parelli, Executive Director of Other Sheep, and Jose Ortiz his partner of nine years and Other Sheep Coordinator for Africa, will use a curriculum that addresses homosexuality as it relates to religion, society, family members, the social sciences and psychology, and human rights. Targeted participants will be the LGBT community, their parents and friends, and any interested party. Three different locations will be chosen in Nairobi for weekly meeting places in order to reach a wider range of people within the city. Each "safe space" class will run for four weeks. Kamau, Parelli and Ortiz will use the time between classes to meet and connect with individuals. It is hoped that a permanent pro-active group will grow out of these meetings and will continue to meet on a regular basis creating fellowship and addressing the areas of need particular to the group and the region...

Click here for more information and to contribute.

Telegraph: Primate Says Williams Is Indecisive Leader

An Anglican primate has launched a stinging attack on the Archbishop of Canterbury's "indecisive" leadership amid growing fears that the worldwide Church will split within months.

Click here to read it all.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Clock in for Equality

Integrity is a participating organization in Lambda Legal's campaign, "Clock in for Equality." This May 15th, people across the country will participate and we hope you will to.

It is anticipated that by the time this day arrives that ENDA (Employment on-Discrimination Act) Legislation will be introduced on the House and Senate floors. HRC and Lambda Legal are working together to move the legislation and to promote it through "Clock in for Equality."
This is a great opportunity for local chapters and local leaders to join with parishes and other church leaders to promote ENDA. This legislation has been endorsed by The Episcopal Church and many other mainline denominations.

Here's what you can do:

  • Contact other local leaders or arrange an event. Go to the Lambda Legal website for ideas.

  • Tell your stories about why this legislation is important. You can do this at the Lambda Legal website.

  • Connect with other local groups and individuals to make them aware or ask what they are doing.

  • Go to the Lambda Legal website for free buttons and stickers. (Do this
    quickly so they will arrive in time--NO LATER THAN NEXT WEDNESDAY,
    APRIL 18)
Questions? Comments? Contact Neil Houghton, Northeast Regional VP <>, Integrity contact for Clock in for Equality.

A New Beginning for ENDA

By Joel Wendland

4-09-07, 8:41 am

Civil rights and labor activists will be pushing the current Congress to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). In line with the opinion of the vast majority of Americans (as many as 85 percent in recent surveys), ENDA would outlaw discriminatory hiring and firing practices against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people.

While federal law protects working people from firing or penalization based on race, religion, national origin, gender or physical ability, no federal law exists to protect people from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

Earlier this year, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Inc. (NGLTF), the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) launched a campaign to compile the stories of LGBT working people who have faced discrimination. Matt Foreman, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, said, "Putting a human face on this injustice has made all the difference in passing nondiscrimination legislation at the state and local level and will be critical in putting ENDA over the top this year."

In just a little over a month, the project had already collected over 300 responses from LGBT people and their families about being fired, harassed, or refused employment because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, says Deborah Vagins of the Policy Council for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties at the ACLU.

Click here to read the rest.

Monday, April 9, 2007

HRC | Support the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act

A mesage from Joe Solmonese, President of the Human Rights Campaign:

Every morning, someone you know takes the long way to class. Someone you care about looks over his shoulder on the street. Someone you love fears for her safety.

All because people hate them for being who they are.

We're closer than ever to passing a federal hate crimes law that includes sexual orientation and gender identity. But right now, your lawmakers are being barraged with calls and emails from anti-gay groups. It's horrifying that they'd pick this of all issues to be against—but it's happening.

The House has already introduced its hate crimes bill. We're holding a press conference on THURSDAY, the day the Senate introduces its identical bill, to announce all the support behind us. We need your voice, even if you've already sent a message on this issue.

Click here to send your letter to Congress before Thursday's press conference.

Our country desperately needs a federal hate crimes law that protects all people from bias-motivated violence. Every day, dozens of people are targets of violent attacks simply because of who they are, while the federal government is powerless to help.

Over the coming weeks, we have a chance to change that.

We'll be sending tens of thousands of letters and calls to legislators, bringing clergy to Capitol Hill to meet with their Senators and Representatives, telling the stories of innocent people attacked or killed by hate violence, and putting a media spotlight on this issue. We're not going to miss this opportunity.

Time is tight. But, with a fair-minded majority in Congress, the time is right.

Tell your representative to vote for the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act.

Together we can make sure this landmark legislation brings the change we've needed for years. Thanks for your help.