Thursday, June 9, 2011

Diocese of San Joaquin Authorizes Blessing of Sacred Unions

Integrity USA give thanks for the leadership of Bishop Chet Talton.

Press release from the Diocese of San Joquin:

The Rt. Rev. Chester Talton, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin, has
authorized the blessing of sacred unions by the clergy in the Diocese as of Sunday,
June 12. Following consideration by the Equality Commission of the diocese, "the
clergy in the Diocese of San Joaquin may perform blessings of same gender civil
marriages, domestic partnerships, and relationships which are lifelong committed
relationships characterized by `fidelity, monogamy, mutual affection and respect,
careful, honest communication, and the holy love which enables those in such
relationships to see in each other the image of God.' "

This decision is in part a response to a 2009 resolution of the General Convention of the
Episcopal Church, stating "bishops, particularly those in dioceses within civil
jurisdictions where same-gender marriage, civil unions, or domestic partnerships are
legal, may provide generous pastoral response to meet the needs of members of this
Church." In October of 2009, at its Annual Convention, the Diocese of San Joaquin
adopted the resolution supporting of the General Convention of The Episcopal Church.

Following the Annual Convention in 2010, the Commission on Equality, along with
Bishop Lamb, who was the provisional bishop at that time, hosted a forum on the issue
of blessing same gender unions. The forum was well attended and the sense of the
forum was that the Diocese is ready to take the next step in full inclusion and support
the blessing of these unions.

Bishop Talton wrote a letter to the diocese. It began like this:

Since its reorganization in March 2008, the Diocese of San Joaquin has made incredible

progress in recognizing a basic truth expressed in 1976 in Resolution A069 of the 65th
General Convention, which stated in part, “That it is the sense of this General
Convention that homosexual persons are children of God who have a full and equal
claim with all other persons upon the love, acceptance, and pastoral concern and care of
the Church.”
Read the full copy of Bishop Talton’s letter here.

1 comment:

John said...

I remember San Joaquin as an extremely homophobic diocese 25 years ago, though there were islands of liberality. I'm glad it has changed, though I suspect that it took the defection of many "dinosaurs" to bring this about. It has always bothered me to see ultra-cons trying to change what has always been a relatively liberal body into something that will no longer appeal to those fleeing the more rigid churches. Indeed, if they had their way, it would no longer appeal to lifelong Episcopalians.