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Re: [OGC-DEPUTIES] "Homophobia!!"


Gentle colleagues,

Do not speak to this House ABOUT lesbians and gays if you are unwilling to
speak directly TO your lesbian and gay colleagues here.  Look us in the
eye as you condemn us.

You are both new to this House as alternates.  Be aware that you are
entering a conversation that has been going on for more than a quarter of
a century.  I encourage you to familiarize yourself with what General
Convention has already done. For example:

* In 1976, General Convention passed a resolution "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."  [I believe that if we had really meant that, none of
  the other resolutions afterwards would have been necessary.]

* In January of 1977, the first month women could be "legally" ordained,
  the Rt. Rev. Paul Moore, Jr., Bishop of New York, ordained to the
  priesthood Ellen Marie Barrett, who had served as Integrity's first

* In 1979 General convention said that it was inappropriate to
  ordain homosexual persons.   Several dozen bishops dissented
  from the resolution and indicated they would not be bound
  by its proscriptions. Nevertheless, the resolution held as the
  official position until 1991, at which point an attempt to reaffirm
  it failed, as did an attempt to approve such ordinations.

* In 1991, 1994, 1997, and 2000 resolutions acknowledged that we in the
  Episcopal Church are in not of one mind regarding lesbians and gays
  and that people can be faithful Christians coming from several different

* In 1994 we passed a canon (not just a resolution, but a canon) that
  guarantees access to the ordination process without regard to sexual

* In 1994, 1997, and 2000 We acknowledged that many dioceses are already
  ordaining lesbians and gays.  Resolutions that tried to stop such
  ordinations failed in 1991 and 1994.

* On May 15, 1996, The Court for a Trial of a Bishop exonerated Bishop
  Walter Righter who had been charged with violating the doctrine and
  discipline of this church for ordaining a gay male living in a
  faithful monogamous relationship.

* In 1997 we apologized to lesbians and gays for the abuse which the
  the Church has historically put upon them.

* In 1997 we voted to allow (not require, but allow) dioceses to provide
  insurance coverage for same-sex partners.  Several dioceses already
  do so.

* In 2000 we asked lesbians and gays to be faithful and monogamous in
  their relationships.

* In 2000 a deputy left General Convention when he had embarrassed his
  deputation by placing exorcism salt under the tables of deputations
  of 'out' lesbian and gay deputies and their friends.

You are certainly free to propose to reverse any part that of that history
or to give your interpretation of it, but don't talk as if it does not
already exist.

I do not understand your obsession with the sexuality of lesbians and
gays. The two of you have written more about sex here than all the lesbian
and gay deputies combined.  I probably know as many lesbian and gay
Episcopalians as anyone in our church, and I know almost nothing about
their sexual practices; nor do I want to.  I know a lot about their
ministries, a lot about their service to this church, a lot about their
commitments to their partners and to the human community.  Sexuality is
integral to, but not definitive of, a person.  I'm a fat old man:  if you
are vitally concerned about my sex life, you need to see a doctor.

Like you, we lesbians and gays were not elected to this House because of
our sexuality, but because of our love for, and service to, this Church.
If instead, you insist on trying to shame us, that is an honor for which
Christ bids us to be "exceedingly glad." However, such shaming is not good
for this House, nor for you. It is never healthy for Christians to go
around trying to shame other people.  Nor is it good for the order for
some to talk ABOUT others rather than TO them.

Dr. XXXXXX, to help myself not demonize you as you have demonized lesbians
and gays, I visited your website to find more positive things about you.
I am impressed by the obviously superb job you are doing as a professor.
I care deeply about higher education in South Carolina; I taught at your
neighboring school, Claflin Univesity, on two separate occasions.  Surely
you can engage me in this discourse community more respectfully and
edifyingly than you have done so far.

XXXXX VVVVVVV, I am sure that your diocese in electing you recognized your
substantial gifts of ministry.  I urge to you to spend more time sharing
those here.

I am willing to fly to the Carolinas and meet with you if you think that
would help us find common ground.  This Church vitally needs the ministry
that we can do only if we unite in mutual respect to do it together.
Check my calendar and let me know what times work best for you:


L2, Nwk

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