Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Washington Times: The Episcopal Diocese of Virginia inches closer to blessing same-sex unions

UPDATE: Julia Duin, the reporter, has a blog post on the Diocesan Annual Council here.

The Washington Times reports on today's developments at the Diocese of Virginia Annual Council
The Episcopal Diocese of Virginia inched closer to blessing same-sex unions Saturday when delegates approved a resolution affirming "the inherent integrity and blessedness of committed Christian relationships between two adult persons."

The resolution, which passed by an uncounted show of hands by the 700 or so Episcopalians meeting at the Reston Hyatt, first recommended the diocese respond "to the pastoral needs of our faithful gay and lesbian members."

A second paragraph defined the "relationships" as "characterized by fidelity, monogamy, mutual affection and respect, careful, honest communication and the holy love which enables those in such relationships to see in each other the image of God."

"There is a time to take that step and follow Christ," said Matt Johnson, a delegate from Grace Episcopal Church in The Plains, Va. "I think this is one of those times. Yes, these relationships have integrity and are blessed. For 20 years, we have been talking about this. Let's go do it."

Frank Baxter, 70, a Front Royal resident who said he had been in a 24-year "committed relationship," agreed.

"I would like to see the diocese accept us as full members of this church while we are still on the green side of the grass," he said.

But opponents said the "relationships" could apply to any sexual partnership.

"I can envision that relationship with one of those persons married to someone else," said a male delegate from Church of Our Saviour in Charlottesville. "What do we do about that?"

"I think we're going to open some doors we do not wish to open," said delegate Ann Davis from Louisa. "A 30-something woman told me her understanding of monogamy means 'one at a time.' There is nothing here about these relationships being 'lifelong.' "

The question of same-sex blessings and gay clergy split the diocese two years ago when 11 conservative parishes left over issues of biblical authority and the diocese's approval of the 2003 consecration of the openly gay New Hampshire Bishop V. Gene Robinson.
Read it all here.


Alice C. Linsley said...

It seems that all revisionists are taking courage from the election of a president who backs gay rights and seeks to beef up "hate crime" legislation. The USA will end up like Canada where you can be fined or imprisoned for speaking your religious conviction if it goes against the liberal grain. At the rate Obama is going, I give it less than 3 years.

Anonymous said...

Exactly, Alice, you have it exactly right. The relentless advance of this gay-friendly agenda at TEC diocesan conventions is in lock-step with the political advance of a similar agenda pushed by the Democratic party in the name of 'civil rights', and the election of the Democratic presidential candidate has now emboldened all who espouse this 'cause'.
What they cannot perceive is that the truly important matter of civil rights is, those of the unborn.