Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Party Begins

There’s a rumor that LGBT people throw the best parties, so maybe it’s not surprising that Integrity’s reception for bishops and deputies had to move out of a small room onto the patio to avoid the unseemly sight of bishops swinging from the light fittings. The number of people who turned up showed that the hard work of the last year is paying off. President Susan Russell welcomed them and in a stirring speech reminded everyone of our basic platform – all the sacraments for all the baptized. That means moving beyond B033 so that orientation will not be an obstacle for a bishop-elect to be confirmed, and agreeing to bless the marriages and covenants of same-gender couples. Many resolutions have been submitted that attempt to achieve the same things. You can see all of them here.

Resolutions go first to a committee which discusses the many resolutions it receives and holds hearings that anyone can comment; this is where most of the debate about resolutions occurs. Then the committee decides the wording of the resolutions that will go to the floor of Convention. The final wording is often a combination of many resolutions so there isn’t a lot of confusing repetition.

The Integrity legislative team will be attending the committees which deal with the resolutions that we are most interested in. Most of the B033 resolutions have been assigned to the World Missions committee, and most of the Marriage Equality ones to the Prayer Book, Liturgy and Music committee. Committee meetings start early tomorrow morning and soon we’ll know when the hearings are planned to take place.

We hope that many of the bishops and deputies who attended the Integrity reception tonight will go to the hearings and share their stories of love and witness in support of our goals. Once a resolution gets to the floor there is very little time for debate before decisions are made, so participation in the hearings is crucial. Our guests were given several pages of FAQs to read, mark and inwardly digest. If you have missed them--they’re available here.

More on today: our booth team has been busy creating a welcoming space for all who will come visit, and they are ready for the exhibition hall to open at noon tomorrow. The IntegriTV crew has been busy today shooting some footage, sorting out technical glitches and preparing to start bringing you a daily news update. Watch this space!

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