Title: Gay and Lesbian Affirmation
Topic: Civil Rights
Committee: Social and Urban Affairs
House of Initial Action: Bishops
Proposer: National Concerns
Resolved, That the 75th General Convention reaffirm The Episcopal Church’s historical support of gay and lesbian persons as children of God and entitled to full civil rights; and be it further
Resolved, That the 75th General Convention reaffirm the 71st General Convention’s action calling upon “municipal council, state legislatures and the United States Congress to approve measures giving gay and lesbian couples protection[s] such as: bereavement and family leave policies; health benefits; pension benefits; real-estate transfer tax benefits; and commitments to mutual support enjoyed by non-gay married couples;” and be it further
Resolved, That the 75th General Convention oppose any state or federal constitutional amendment that prohibits same-sex civil marriage or civil unions.
EXPLANATION-- For at least thirty years, and even as debate about the role of gay and lesbian people within the Church has continued, successive General Conventions have recognized the equal claim of gay and lesbian persons to the civil rights enjoyed by all other persons.
In 1994, General Convention (1994-D006) called on all levels of government to support legislation giving same-sex couples the same legal protections as non-same-sex married couples. In light of recent legislative actions in several states, and a proposed federal constitutional amendment, an affirmation of the Episcopal Church's support for equal rights is warranted.