FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
In its 113th Annual Diocesan Convention today, the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles joined seven other dioceses in passing a resolution asking the 2009 General Convention of the Episcopal Church to reject the de facto moratorium on the election of gay or lesbian bishops by retracting the General Convention Resolution BO33. And in Bishop Jon Bruno's convention address yesterday, he announced a new diocesan policy on the Sacramental Blessing of Life-Long Covenants, which stated in part, "we believe the same blessing ceremony afforded to men and women should be afforded to same-sex couples" and included a liturgy for blessing approved for use in the Diocese of Los Angeles.
"We are greatly encouraged that the Diocese of Los Angeles has taken such strong steps forward on the full inclusion of the LGBT faithful in the Body of Christ," said the Reverend Susan Russell, president of Integrity and a member of the Task force on Marriage Equality convened by Bishop Bruno to craft the policy and draft the liturgy.
"The Diocese of Los Angeles cannot undo the damage done by BO33 but we stood together to say that we refuse to be party to any further scapegoating of the gay and lesbian baptized. We cannot undo the discrimination written into our constitution by Proposition 8, but we can now officially offer equality in the blessings we offer couples in our congregations and that is a source of great hope and encouragement not only to the church but to the world."
The resolution regarding General Convention was presented by the Los Angeles Deputation to the 2009 General Convention of the Episcopal Church and will be forwarded for consideration at the July 2009 meeting in Anaheim CA. The diocesan policy on blessings was distributed to convention delegates in Riverside and will be available shortly on the Diocese of Los Angeles website.
(The Reverend) Susan Russell, President
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