Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Lesbian and gay relationships healthy

The Dallas Morning News reports on a new study in the journal Developmental Psychology of a study of committed gay, lesbian and heterosexual relationships. A key paragraph from the conclusions:
The current study adds to this literature by demonstrating that, controlling for demographic differences, gay males and lesbians in our studies were generally not distinguishable from their committed heterosexual counterparts on measures of self- and partner reported relationship quality, as well as in how they interacted with one another—and responded physiologically—while attempting to resolve conflict in their relationships.

Translation: Far as these researchers can tell, gay and lesbian committed relationships look to be as psychologically healthy as committed heterosexual relationships.

A link to the pdf of the paper is here

HT to Episcopal Cafe.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

San Joaquin "Saturday Morning Massacre"

Episcopal Cafe broke the story this morning that Dan Martins+ (formerly of the Diocese of San Joaquin) is reporting on his blog that 6 of the 8 Standing Committee members were "fired" by Bishop Schofield for refusing to join the Province of the Southern Cone.

Some gory details from Martins+ blog post:

First, a message from Bishop Schofield:

On December 8th at our Diocesan Convention the overwhelming vote to transfer from the Episcopal Church to the Province of the Southern Cone was passed. At that time I became a member of the House of Bishops of that Province. Therefore, the Standing Committee, which is my council of advice, must be composed of clergy members who are Anglican priests of the Southern Cone. This is required by Diocesan Canons and the Archbishop of the Southern Cone of South America, who writes:“In welcoming you to the Province of the Southern Cone on December 8th it is my clear understanding that even though you are allowing a period of discernment for those clergy who are still undecided, it would be highly inappropriate for any officer or leader within the Diocese of San Joaquin to be currently undecided or clearly within the Episcopal Church and continue as an officer or leader. The requirement governing each diocese of the Southern Cone is that all members of Diocesan Council, Standing Committee, and those selected as representatives at Synod be recognized Members of this Province.”

Therefore, this morning I received the resignation of those members of the Standing Committee who do not meet the above qualifications. Communication and correspondence related to the Standing Committee should now be directed to the new President of the Standing Committee, ---------, at the Diocesan Offices.

Then we have this, from the duly-elected president of the Standing Committee:

During the Standing Committee meeting of January 19th, the Bishop determined that the elected members of the Standing Committee who had not publicly affirmed their standing in the Southern Cone [whose congregations are in discernment, some over the legality of convention's actions] were unqualified to hold any position of leadership in the Diocese, including any elected office. He pronounced us as unqualified. No resignations were given. The question of resignations was raised and rejected. The members of the committee at this morning's meeting were quite clear on this point, we did not resign, we were declared unqualified to hold office. The Bishop's decision affects up to 6 of the 8 elected members of the Committee including all of the clergy members.

At this point, I only have two things to say:

1 - My, My, My!
2 - Pray for the Church!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Good News from the Diocese of North Carolina

This "just in" from an Integrity member in the Diocese of North Carolina: "I'm delighted to report that the annual convention of the Diocese of North Carolina passed the following resolution today":



Resolved by the 192nd Annual Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina, that the Diocese continue to demonstrate its commitment to radical hospitality and, that in accordance with the House of Bishops' Statement, Fall 2007, we "proclaim the Gospel that in Christ all God's children, including gay and lesbian persons, are full and equal participants in the life of Christ's Church" by:

1) Urging the Archbishop of Canterbury to extend to the duly elected and consecrated Bishop of New Hampshire an invitation to full participation in the Lambeth Conference of 2008;

2) Encouraging our Deputies to the 2009 General Convention to ensure compliance with Title III. Canon I. Section 2, which supports the full and equal participation of all persons regardless of sexual orientation in all aspects of the Church's ministries, lay and ordained;

3) Encouraging the General Convention to call for the development of public liturgies for the blessing of same sex unions.


The debate on the resolution by convention, which was abbreviated because of the threat of winter weather, was civil and respectful, in the Spirit of Jesus, as Bishop Curry observed after the vote.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Archbishop Hiltz clarifies Canadian situation for fellow primates

Jan 9, 2008

Saying that he hoped to "dispel rumour or misunderstanding,"
Archbishop Fred Hiltz, the primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, has written to his fellow leaders of the worldwide Anglican Communion explaining the developments around the blessing of same-sex unions, which has embroiled Canadian Anglicans in conflict.

In his four-page letter, which was sent to the other 34 Anglican primates and four moderators of the Anglican Communion's United Churches on Jan. 9, Archbishop Hiltz, who is the national archbishop, underscored that the Anglican Church of Canada has not yet agreed upon a definitive position on the issue. "It is important to note that the Anglican Church of Canada has not altered its doctrine of marriage as outlined in our prayer books and canons (church laws)."

Read the full story online at http://www.anglicanjournal.com

Thursday, January 3, 2008

St. Thomas' Parish, Dupont Circle, Evangelizes On YouTube

An inclusive Episcopal church serving metropolitan Washington, D.C. in the Dupont Circle neighborhood at 18th and Church Streets, N.W.

Ho-hum civil union rights

January 3, 2008
The Boston Globe

WHEN VERMONT legislators legalized civil unions for gay couples in 2000, there was a bitter backlash against the reform. But on New Year's Day, New Hampshire joined Vermont, Connecticut, and New Jersey in extending civil union rights to gay and lesbian couples, and the event was met with a collective yawn. There are several reasons for this change, but the most important is that residents of New Hampshire have had a chance to observe Vermont and Connecticut's civil unions and Massachusetts' same-sex marriage, and realized that extending rights to a minority is no threat to the majority - or to the institution of marriage.

Not too many years ago, the fiery conservatism of the Manchester Union-Leader newspaper and the state's former governor, Meldrim Thomson, made New Hampshire an unlikely candidate for quiet acceptance of expanded rights for gays. But as resistant as its citizens have been to broad-based taxes or expanded government, there has always been a live-and-let-live streak in the state that has made it infertile ground for politicians telling other people how to live. Recently, the state's high-tech industries have brought in highly trained newcomers with broad views on social issues. Polling for the presidential primary shows that gay marriage is of minor concern to the state's voters.

This page finds civil unions to be an inadequate substitute for true marriage equality. Still, there likely would have been more opposition had New Hampshire legalized gay marriage and not just civil unions, which are seen as a compromise measure. Also, the fact that New Hampshire's elected legislators initiated the change, as opposed to an "unelected" court, as was the case in both Vermont and Massachusetts, may have made the reform more acceptable to voters.

Click here to read the rest.

Gay N.H. couples celebrate, gain status in civil unions

By Noah Bierman
Boston Globe
January 2, 2008

PORTSMOUTH - Clad in jeans and loose-fitting sweaters, Rachel Gogan and Katie Raynes walked into the side room of a church basement yesterday and joined in a precedent-setting civil union ceremony.

And then they drove home to Dover for a quiet lunch.

The women, both in their mid-20s, were casual history-makers, among the first of about 100 couples in New Hampshire to unite under the state's civil union law that took effect yesterday. Their more formal and emotional, though unofficial, union took place in October, when friends and family gathered for a ceremony and party in Maine.

"We already had our wedding. This was the signing of our paperwork. The state's finally catching up with us," Gogan said.

New Hampshire became the fourth state to allow civil unions of same-sex couples. Just after midnight, the first 40 or so couples held ceremonies at the State House. Smaller ceremonies took place in other parts of the state throughout the day. By the afternoon, 11 couples, including Gogan and Raynes, were committed at South Church Unitarian Universalist Church in Portsmouth.

Click here to read the rest.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Why we need marriage equality

Charlene Strong's experience led her to fight hard to bring the State of Washington into the growing family of marriage equality states.

Newsweek has released a retrospective story about Strong's tragedy and struggle this past year.

Please share this story around. It may really help people see why it is important to us that LGBT relationships be accepted both within the Church and in the public square.