[Date Prev][Date Next][Date Index]
Respecting the dignity of every person EXCEPT......
Gentle Bishop Winterowd,
Can you speak some comfortable words in the midst of this abuse?
As a professor for over 40 years, I am deeply troubled to be coming to
a diocese where people like me are fired as unfit to be near the
young. Are those who fire competent people on such flimsy grounds
setting a Christ-like example for the young?
Will I and others like me be subjected to such stigma while in your
diocese? Will you try to protect the deputies who are under 21 from
exposure to lesbigays in the House?
Louie Crew, Chair, Nwk. Deputation GC2000
377 S. Harrison St., 12D, East Orange, NJ 07018. 973-395-1068 (after
http://newark.rutgers.edu/~lcrew/rel.html Anglican Pages
There are 229 days left until General Convention.
>---------- Forwarded message ----------
>Date: Fri, 19 Nov 1999 04:05:22 EST
>Subject: Media Release - Colorado Legal Initiatives Project
>LESBIAN EMPLOYEE SUES EPISCOPAL CHURCH
> A former employee of Saint Aidan's Episcopal Church of Boulder has sued
>the Church, the Episcopal Diocese and church officials for violations of her
>rights. A very popular employee and seminary student, Lee Ann Bryce
>supervised youth at the Church, scheduling and planning weekly activities,
>such as recreational events and discussion groups. She increased attendance
>at events by 100% and enjoyed an excellent relationship with the youth and
> Despite the good job that she had done, Ms. Bryce was fired by the Church
>after it became known to the Church that she and her same-sex partner, an
>ordained minister, had a commitment service. The reason for the firing given
>by the rector, the Reverend Donald Henderson, was that the Episcopal Church
>would not allow a homosexual to work with youth. Further, Henderson offered
>her other positions not working with youth for a short period, ultimately
>requiring that Ms. Bryce would have to leave the employ of the Church
>altogether in December.
> Ms. Bryce's termination came after a series of parish meetings
>orchestrated by Henderson, in which parishioners were allowed and encouraged
>to ask Ms. Bryce questions about her private life and sexual habits. The
>meetings have been described by attendees as "inquisition-like." In meetings
>and letters, Henderson admitted that Bryce had done an excellent job in her
>position, but could not continue in it because of her "disease."
> Ms. Bryce was employed by Saint Aidan's for a year prior to being fired
>in June of 1999. Church officials induced Ms. Bryce to relocate to Colorado
>from Texas to take a position with the church. After hearing about Ms.
>Bryce's commitment service-which was held at the First Congregational United
>Church of Christ in Boulder with participation by 25 clergy of various faiths
>- Henderson, after consulting with and receiving direction from Bishop
>Winterrowd and the Missioner Anderson, informed Ms. Bryce that she would be
> The issue has divided the Church and lead to resignations among the staff
>because of the very public manner in which Henderson and the Church conducted
>the inquisition which lead to Ms. Bryce's termination.
>As a consequence, Ms. Bryce is suing the Church and its officials for
>invasion of privacy, defamation, breach of contract, misrepresentations in
>inducing her to move to Colorado, and violations of Colorado's civil rights
>statute. "Ms. Bryce is not challenging the religious practices of the
>Episcopal Church. She is challenging the inappropriate actions they took as
>an employer, " emphasized Suzanne Banning, Executive Director of the Colorado
>Legal Initiatives Project (CLIP), a GLBT civil rights organization.
> Ms. Bryce is represented by Patricia Bangert, of Powers Phillips, P.C.,
>in cooperation with the Colorado Legal Initiatives Project, in her action
>filed in the District Court in Boulder County. "This action was filed to
>correct a series of unlawful actions taken by the Defendants during the
>course of Ms. Bryce's employment. The law holds all employers to certain
>minimum standards of conduct with regard to their employees. We are simply
>holding St. Aidan's Church, as an employer, to those standards," explained
>Kathleen Kern, attorney for CLIP. Ms. Bangert added, "The Church cannot be
>above the law. It must treat its lay employees fairly and in a lawful
>manner. It cannot use church doctrine to commit acts for which other
>employers would be held accountable."