Monday, August 8, 2011

Integrity Says "Thank You" to the Church Pension Group

Over the past month, there has been so much good news on the marriage equality front that some of it has received less notice than it should have.

One item that hasn't been celebrated enough is that the Church Pension Group - which handles benefits for Episcopal clergy, lay employees and their families - announced that it will offer "parity of benefits for legally-married same-gender spouses."

Integrity celebrates this milestone towards full inclusion in the Episcopal Church, and looks forward to the day when LGBT people and their families will have full parity in the Church and the wider society.

To learn more about this important policy change, read Integrity's open letter to the Church Pension Group below, visit the Church Pension Group website and read "New York's same-gender marriage law prompts diocesan, pension fund changes" on the Episcopal News Service website.


August 8, 2011

T. Dennis Sullivan
President and CEO
Church Pension Group
445 Fifth Ave
New York, NY 10016

Dear Mr. Sullivan:

I am writing on behalf of Integrity USA to thank the Church Pension Group for deciding to provide “parity of benefits for legally married same-gender spouses.”

Integrity USA is a community of approximately 2,000 dues-paying members, 60 chapters, and 500 affiliated parishes. Our mission is to be a witness of God’s inclusive love to The Episcopal Church and to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) communities.

When Integrity was founded thirty-six years ago by Dr. Louie Crew, equality for LGBT people within The Episcopal Church seemed to be a far-off dream. In 1976, General Convention proclaimed 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.” However, those who govern the Church have been rather slow to specify how that proclamation should be implemented within our institutional structures and practices.

Your actions provide a concrete witness of God’s inclusive love within The Episcopal Church. You have taken the initiative to specify just what “a full and equal claim” means in a very specific and meaningful way. For that we give you our heartfelt thanks.


The Rev. Caroline Hall

Integrity USA

cc. Mary Kate Wold, President and CEO (incoming), Church Pension Group
The Rt. Rev. Peter James Lee, DD, Chair of the Board of Trustees, Church Pension Group
Integrity USA Membership

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It's a step in the right direction, to be sure. I wonder when Church Pension Group-administered health plans will stop having explicit exclusions for what they quite archaically call "sex-change surgery". Surely that can't be justified in an era when so many municipalities and companies are covering trans-related healthcare, including surgery.

It's not like it's even really justifiable on the grounds that some in the CPG or in the Episcopal Church overall would object to covering necessary trans healthcare, including surgery, since most (all?) CPG plans cover abortion, which I suspect some members of the CPG and some in the Episcopal Church would likewise object to. I certainly can't honestly say that CPG takes the right position on women's health when it neglects the health care needs of trans women.