Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Kudos to Integrity Connecticut!

This past  weekend Integrity Connecticut celebrated the passage of Resolution # 6 at their diocesan convention: RESOLVED: That the 227th Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut urges the Bishop of Connecticut to acknowledge that there are people living in same-gender relationships of mutuality and fidelity who want to be married by their clergy; and be it further RESOLVED: That the Bishop of this Diocese may permit the clergy of the Diocese to determine the appropriate generous pastoral response to meet the needs of the members of his or her own local Eucharistic community, including officiating at weddings of same-sex couples and acting as legal agents of the State in signing marriage licenses.

Resolution #6 was developed by Integrity Connecticut and sponsored by supportive clergy and lay delegates and was passed by a broad majority of the delegates present.
It is work like this done in the Diocese of Connecticut by Integrity Connecticut and their allies that will bring us one step further to achieving our goals for marriage equality at General Convention 2012.
Here is a letter from Larry Besel, Jr summing up their success:

Dear Integrity USA Friends,

I am delighted to report that our Diocesan Resolution calling upon our Bishop to permit our clergy to voluntarily marry same sex couples passed the 227th Convention of the Diocese of Connecticut! Approximately 75 to 80 percent of the convention delegates voted in support the resolution. The resolution brought about a generous amount of diverse dialogue including a discussion on whether the church should even be involved in the performing a function which might be better handled by local justice of the peace. There was a minor change made to our original wording, but nothing that would change the original intent. I will forward the final wording as it is posted from our Diocesan web site.

Copies of our videos were given to delegates during the two day convention/ We also distributed copies of the 8 page same sex marriage rite as authorized for use clergy of the Diocese of Washington (DC).

I've compiled some statistics which can be measures of interest in our initiative and present them below for folks who are interested in that sort of thing:

To date, our principle video "A Call for Marriage Equality in the Diocese of Connecticut" has been viewed 125 times on YouTube.

Statistics for our other videos as presented on YouTube are as follows::

Integrity Connecticut - Father Frank Kirkpatrick - History of Marriage in the Church had 51 views:

Integrity Connecticut - Father Don Hamer - A clergy's perspective had 64 views

Integrity Connecticut - Christene and Linda - Lesbian couple 70 views

Integrity Connecticut - Alex and Ryan - Gay couple 48 views

Integrity Connecticut - Tom and Enid Straight couple 30 views

Integrity Connecticut - Linda and Mark Straight couple 30 views

(You can view all these videos at the Integrity Connecticut website.)

Now that the convention is over we will refine the tags we use to bring people to these video - just haven't had the time up until now to focus on that as we were directing folks to it through the diocese blog of our resolution which had our website in the resolution.

Thirteen separate resolutions were up for consideration by our Convention. The Convention blog site statistics indicates 280 individuals viewed our resolution prior to the convention (there were approximately 600 delegates at the convention. The next highest number of individuals visiting a convention blog was 159 individuals who visited the blog related to a resolution calling for a 'Year-long Dialogue on Open Communion".

Finally, over the past 16 days, our Integrity Connecticut web site recorded 2330 hits with the vast majority of the hits being directed toward our Marriage Equality page our Alternative Rites for Same Sex Couples page and our Where Clergy May Officiate at Same Sex Marriages page.

Please accept my heart felt thanks for what each of you did to support our Chapter in this journey!


Larry Besel, Jr. - Convener
Integrity Connecticut

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