Tuesday, June 9, 2015

A call for marriage at GC2015

General Convention is coming up and we all hope this will be the endgame for marriage issues. BP and I only became officially part of TEC in 2009, and we went to the Integrity Eucharist and GC that year in Anaheim as part of a Friends of Jake / Father Jake meetup. The momentum was changing and there was hope in the air, and progress has been made, but we're six years further along.

By the end of this month, a decision from the Supreme Court on marriage will come down, and most are cautiously optimistic it will legalize same sex marriage  throughout the nation.  Where is the Episcopal Church in this? Right now, LGBT couples depend on "pastoral latitude" from their Bishops, and if they do marry or receive a blessing, it is in a special liturgy (very lovely, but clearly "special").  The Rev Mike Angell calls for equality, in part in solidarity with the milennial generation:
Doing less than amending our canons to allow same-sex couples to marry would communicate that we think that same-sex marriage is “less than” equal. .... 
In ministry with young adults, I have been at pains to explain the current position of our denomination on marriage equality. While the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Presbyterian Church in the USA have approved marriage equality, we’re not there yet canonically. I find myself saying something like: “Yes, we support civil marriage equality broadly as a denomination, but because we are liturgically conservative tradition, and it takes a long time to amend our Prayer Book, we have a separate provisional rite for blessing unions.” That’s a mouthful, and our stance is an obfuscation. Our current liturgical position says, “we’re really not sure whether same-sex love is equal.”
Our road toward equality has been marked by half measures and deferments in The Episcopal Church. We should not defer again. To put off the decision for marriage equality may help relationships with the few remaining conservative parishes and dioceses, but such a decision could also harm our relationships with younger generations. Do we care about young adults enough to be bold for marriage equality?
Well, what's your expectation for GC this year?

1 comment:

Marshall Scott said...

I'll be there again as a Deputy. I do think the changes to the marriage canon (Resolution A036; http://www.generalconvention.org/gc/2015-resolutions/A036/current_english_text) will pass, or its intent will (there are several resolutions submitted, and the legislative committee will choose one, and then edit within that). For those of us who want this simplified to equitable use of any rite for any couple, I don't know that this will be the endgame, really; but it will be big. And, yes, the decision of the Supreme Court will affect how this is written, if only at the last minute.