The House of Bishops has concurred with the Deputies on resolution D039. The Church has thus adopted seven clauses declaring that human relationships are to be characterized by fidelity, monogamy and mutual affection and respect; the eighth -- directing the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music to develop rites through which the Church could support "relationships of mutuality and fidelity other than marriage" -- was rejected.
After an hour of discussion on the resolution as received from the House of Deputies, Bishop Clark Grew (Ohio) proposed restoring the eighth clause. Subsequent debate was heated: "We have never ... because ..." brought forth an answering "Many of us do ... because..."
Bishop Catherine Roskam (Suffragan, New York, voted for the amendment) declared that "We can lead without breaking up the communion ." "The people most directly and personally affected [by the eighth resolve] are remaining in the Episcopal Church; it's the people not directly affected who are threatening to leave." A short time later Bishop John Howe (Central Florida, voted No) asserted that "to attach the eighth resolution is to vote for division."
"Embracing the Holy Spirit's call," said Bishop James Kelsey (Northern Michigan, voted Yes), "is always costly to the individuals and communities who do it. But what a powerful witness it would be if we offered the Church's love and support to all. Our lesbian and gay sisters and brothers have a God-given right to a full life [in the Church]."
Bishop Grew's amendment was eventually defeated by a vote of 85-63 with four abstentions. [To learn how your bishop voted, send me a message off-list.]
The question was finally moved and the resolution adopted with a full chorus of Yeas and a scattering of Nos.
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