Then the plenary session ended and the deputies worked in small groups. Since I was following on the live streaming webcast, I had no small group to go to, so I switched channels. Our friends at Stand Firm didn’t even bother to cover this consultation, having abandoned TEC, but they did cover Theo Hobson’s article in the Guardian. Under a not-so-great picture of the Bishop of New Hampshire, Hobson criticizes +Gene for overusing the language of civil rights, “as if the struggle for gay equality is just as righteous as the struggle for racial equality.” Mr. Hobson isn’t paying attention if he thinks LGBT people are not struggling for civil rights – even if in his own homeland of England things are looking pretty good, they’re pretty ugly elsewhere - especially in Uganda where the anti-gay bill looks set to come up again next week.
I do agree with Mr. Hobson that all forms of loving relationship should be celebrated (I would add the word committed). This is one drawback of the plan that has developed from the carefully worded Resolution CO56. It treats same-gender blessings as a stand-alone item, without any relationship to cross-gender marriage. The difficulties this perpetuates came up in the final session on Canonical and Legal Considerations and then later in the Press Conference.
It may not have been part of their task, and heaven knows, their task was pretty extensive for people who have day jobs, but it is surely part of the task of the church. I defy anyone to tell me that my marriage isn’t a Christian marriage. Rethinking marriage for our time is a vital task awaiting us, and the theological principles developed by the SCLM this year seem to be a great place to start.
The Rev Dr. Caroline Hall is the rector of St. Benedict's Episcopal Church in Los Osos, California. She is the former Vice President of International Affairs for Integrity USA. She is a frequent contributor to Walking With Integrity and is the author of the recent Anglican Covenant Series.