In the bicameral legislative system of the Episcopal General Convention, the LGBT community has been holding its breath awaiting the action of the House of Bishops. Earlier, the House of Deputies voted overwhelmingly to adopt a resolution that would effectively counter the 2006 resolution that put a halt on ordaining gay bishops. Now, the House of Bishops has done the same.
Here is the press release from Integrity USA, the Episcopal LGBT advocacy group:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ANAHEIM, CA (July 13, 2009)–By a nearly 2-1 margin, the bishops of the Episcopal Church passed an amended version of resolution D025, which effectively ends the "BO33 Era" and returns the church to relying on its canons and discernment processes for the election of bishops. "While concurrence on the amended resolution by the House of Deputies is necessary before it is officially adopted by the church as a whole," said Integrity President Susan Russell, "there is no question that today’s vote in the House of Bishops was an historic move forward and a great day for all who support the full inclusion of all the baptized in the Body of Christ."
"It was a tremendous privilege to be a witness to the courage and candor of the bishops who spoke truth to each other and to us–and who called the Episcopal Church to speak our truth to our Anglican Communion brothers and sisters and to the world.
"The truth is we are a church committed to mission–we are a church committed to the full inclusion of all the baptized in that mission–and we are a church committed to creating as broad a place to stand as possible for ALL who wish to be part of this great adventure of being disciples of Jesus.
"In this carefully constructed and prayerfully considered resolution, our Presiding Bishop got what she both asked for and voted for: a positive statement about where we are as a church in 2009–a church striving to actually become the church former Presiding Bishop Edmond Browning called us to be nearly 20 years ago now…a church where there are no outcasts."
"The debate on the floor of the House of Bishops made it VERY clear that our bishops knew exactly what they were doing when they passed this by a nearly 2-1 margin. The resolution passed today by the House of Bishops was another step in the Episcopal Church’s ‘coming out’ process–and it sends a strong ‘come and see’ message to anyone looking for a faith community where God’s inclusive love is not just proclaimed but practiced."
It’s a good day to be an Episcopalian. For watchers of LGBT issues within Christian communities, the next event will be the ELCA convention in MPLS in August. As I have noted previously, I will be present and will live blog the Lutheran gathering.