Sunday, July 12, 2009

D025 passes the House of Deputies Intact

The debate over D025 took place in the House of Deputies this afternoon. Before the debate started five minutes were assigned for questions. One questioner asked whether D025 would rescind B033. Ian Douglas and Gay Jennings both side-stepped this question referring the speaker to the language of the resolution which is very carefully crafted. It is intended to:
  • Reaffirm our commitment to the Anglican Communion
  • State our desire to remain in the highest degree of communion with other Anglican provinces
  • Pledge to participate in contributing to the Communion budget
  • Remind the church of the relationship values established in 2000-D039
  • Recognize the response of LGBT Episcopalians to God’s call to service
  • Affirm that God has called and may call partnered gay and lesbian people to any ordained ministry and that their call will be tested by the discernment process provided for in our canons
  • Acknowledge that we are not all of one mind about this
So it doesn’t actually go head to head with B033 but has (IMHO) the effect of annulling it because it affirms the canonical process which B033 urges standing committees and bishops diocesan to over-ride. Obviously it is open to interpretation and Charlie Holt from Central Florida opposed it on the basis that it is sending ‘fuzzy messages’.

An attempt to divide resolution D025 into two separate resolutions with one resolution including the first three points, and the second the remainder, was defeated in a vote by orders. (Such a vote requires that the clergy order in each diocese vote together, and that the lay deputies vote together. If an order is not unanimous their vote is recorded as divided which counts as a ‘no’).

One amendment was moved that would have removed references to gay and lesbian relationships. Ruth Meyers of the Chicago Consultation spoke against it – this section describes the reality that there are within our Church same sex couples living in life-long relationships which have everything that she strives to have in her relationship with her husband. Several other speakers said that it would ‘gut’ what the committee had tried so hard to do in this resolution. It failed. Another attempt was made to separate out the resolve which covers the discernment process for ordination and vote on that separately. It failed too.

Before the actual vote the Chaplain led the House in prayer.

The Result: Lay Order needed to pass 50 yes 77 no 31

Clergy Order needed to pass 49, Yes 74 No 35

There’s an interview with Ruth Meyers and Becky Snow who crafted this resolution at
Caroline Hall for IntegrityUSA


Neil Houghton said...

There is no debating that D025 nullifies B033. That was made perfectly clear to those in the House of Deputies voting.

Deputy Houghton, Rochester,

Kevin Kelly said...

Just a clarification about votes by orders. A vote doesn't have to be unanimous to pass, both a 4-0 and a 3-1 in the affirmative are recorded as a yes (assuming 4 deputies). A divided vote is a 2-2 split, which does count as a no.

Deputy Kelly, West Virginia