Friday, June 5, 2009

GLBT Episcopalians: Standing in a crucified place since 2006

It just cries for a logo, don't you think?

The revelation that yet another committee is "studying the issue" (this one so secretly, no one knows who is on it), with a report destined for, oh, 2011 or so, shouldn't be surprise. In fact it very much mirrors what's going on politically in the US.

President Obama was elected promising to be a "fierce advocate" for the GLBT community. However, there has been no movement on the issues of most concern: First, repealing DADT (Don't Ask Don't Tell), which is particularly high profile given the case of linguist Lt Dan Choi and pilot Lt. Col. Victor Fehrenbach, both separated from the military for being gay. While this will have to be repealed by Congress, there are executive options available to stop the loss of these men, which the White House hasn't taken. But they have proposed a new study. Sound familiar?

Then, there's repealing DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act), which is becoming particularly of concern given the rapid pace of marriage equality victories in the country. Six states now allow same sex marriages, and from the White House..... not a crumb, not a peep. Are those crickets I hear?

So the Double Secret Probation Bishop's Committee doesn't come as a surprise. I don't know what they are trying to delay, and in fact, the delay is a pastoral failure. After all, in 6 states faithful Episcopalians can get married by the state--but nothing from their church. One of our new Episcopal friends explained that he did not marry his long-time partner during the Interregnum in California specifically because of this. "I want a real marriage, in the church", he said. "We'll wait for that." At some level, just as I view Domestic Partnerships as "marriage lite", he views civil marriage as "marriage lite". More power to him. I hope he gets his wish (and I hope we are invited to the wedding.) It would help if the Star Chamber got a move on so TEC is not late to the equality party.


Leonardo Ricardo said...

All that may be true, however, this secret and *quiet* grouping is a rather noisy reminder of the Archbishop of Canterbury, ++Griswold and ++KJS elect, doing other secret/desperate delay plottings on the telephone during the last GC!

Марко Фризия said...

I am a gay man, a member of the Episcopal Church. I served in the military under the (bad and unfair) Don't Ask Don't Tell policy. Of course, I am very unhappy with the sluggish progress (in church and state) being made for full inclusion and complete justice. If you know me, you know I am not complacent about these issues. And I deplore the attitude of "gradualism" which seems to be so prevalent. I don't like being told to wait. I intend no disrepsect to any one here. I just don't feel as though I am in a "crucified place." I am not waking up in a war zone every morning. I have more than adequate food. I have access to health care. I have two nice places to live. I bed down with the love of my life at night. So many people live with such intense violent oppression and they lack even the very basics (not even having clean water). I am glad for the gains that have been made and we have more work to do. We can't give up. In my opinion, folks in Sri Lanka, Sudan, Iraq, Afghanistan (and other troubled locales) -- they are the ones living in a crucified place. And what about the poor among us in first-world countries? When I compare my life to their lives, it feels rather self-indulgent to assert that I am living in a crucified place. Yes, I want there to be equality and justice for non-heterosexual persons. But I also want everyone suffering in the world to be free of the scourge of war, to have enough to eat, to have a place to live, to have access to clean water, to have medical care and education.

IT said...

Good point, Marko. You are right, this is not the biggest issue facing us civilly, nor religiously. Although, it seems it has been inflated to be so, largely by those who don't want to get along. I would SO like it not to be an issue at all so we can focus on peace and wellbeing of all humanity.

The "crucified place" comment, BTW, is a quote from TEC's presiding bishop, in 2007, about B033:

BILL MOYERS: Is it fair to ask some aspiring gay or lesbian person who wants to become a Bishop, like Gene Robinson did in 2003, to wait?

BISHOP KATHARINE JEFFERTS SCHORI: Is it fair? No. It's not fair.

BILL MOYERS: But it's necessary?

BISHOP KATHARINE JEFFERTS SCHORI: It's a crucified place to stand.

Марко Фризия said...

Here is a link to an older post by Susan Russell:

Susan is more articulate than I will ever be. I was trying to say something similar to what Susan says.

In the context of the interview that The PB did, I totally agree with the answer she gave to the specific question asked by Bill Moyers. The PB (like Susan Russell) is more articulate and much wiser than me.

I am not happy with the state of affairs in TEC or USA gov't pertaining to queer folks. But I feel so very blessed and fortunate in my own life. And as a soldier I saw so many people living in dire poverty and on the receiving end of much violence (they seemed stuck in a Good Friday existence).

My response was not in any way intended to be disrespectful to anyone on this great blog.

IT said...

No disrespect taken, Marko. Your participation is always welcome.

Leonardo Ricardo said...

Climbing down from the cross is what this about...someone must do that first and then give hope to others who are still getting nailed up...the very idea that we are warm and cozy makes me ill...I almost died and my partner was murdered...I refuse to climb back onto that cross of eternal persecutions (others and my own).

Sure, I´m pissed (and they have the nerve to have private meetings about LGBT Episcopalians at the HOB´s special committee...that takes balls but few brains)!

JCF said...

I think the whole point of equal rights for LGBTs in the US (and in TEC) is NOT so we can just quietly go home to our (equal) lives, but to UNLEASH us on a suffering world---to make it better!

[First and foremost, I don't mind saying, for LGBTs around the Two-Thirds World---who are always the LEAST of the Wretched-of-the-Earth]

Cany said...

well, before getting all pissy with Obama, you might want to check your baggage into HRC, according to Mike.

go here:

And he ain't the only one, so don't even think about that.

TEC? Well don't even ASK ME what I think right now. You won't like it.

Anonymous said...

IT - you've hit on something here -

Let's call it the "Dean Wormer Committee"!

Laughter is a powerful weapon.

IT said...

Thanks, anon

cany, I have my own suspicions about Obama (about the HRC, I have long given up hope)....more to come at GMC.