WASHINGTON - Yesterday, the House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church USA released a strongly worded resolution that unequivocally rejected the call from the larger Anglican Communion to backtrack on ordination of lesbian and gay clergy and disavow the election and ordination of openly gay bishop, the Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson of the Diocese of New Hampshire. The resolution reaffirmed that, "We proclaim the Gospel that in Christ all God's children, including gay and lesbian persons, are full and equal participants in the life of Christ's Church."
Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese said, "The U.S. House of Bishops has made an unequivocally strong and courageous statement in defense of full inclusion of the thousands of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Episcopalians. With this resolution, the bishops have taken a clear stand on the side of justice."
"The bishops have acted with great love for the church and with a greater love for the justice God requires of all of us," said Harry Knox, director of HRC's Religion and Faith Program. "They have reiterated their desire to remain in the larger Anglican Communion, but not at the expense of their lesbian and gay sisters and brothers in Christ."
The resolution was in response to a proposed Pastoral Scheme of the Dar es Salaam Communique. The House of Bishops declared the scheme was "injurious to the Episcopal Church." Furthermore, they declared an "urgent need for us to meet face-to-face with the archbishop of Canterbury and members of the Primates' Standing Committee, and we hereby request and urge that such a meeting be negotiated by the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church and the archbishop of Canterbury at the earliest possible opportunity."
The Human Rights Campaign's Religion and Faith Program has compiled a council of nationally respected religious voices from a diverse range of denominations. Episcopal voices on the council include:
The Rev. Susan Russell, senior associate for pastoral life at All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena, Calif. Since 2003, Russell has served as president of Integrity USA - the 30-year-old national Episcopal gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender advocacy organization and convener of "Claiming the Blessing" - a national collaborative ministry focused on the full inclusion of the GLBT people baptized into the Episcopal Church.
Bishop Gene Robinson,first openly gay bishop in the Episcopalian church, invested as the ninth bishop of New Hampshire on March 7, 2004.
The Human Rights Campaign's Religion and Faith Program gives voice to the fair-minded faithful, opens hearts and minds to new ways of viewing gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people, and effectively works to reclaim the faith-based debate from the intolerant and radical right. At a time when religion is being used more than ever to justify discrimination and hate-based public policy, the HRC Religion and Faith Program exists to counter ignorance with education, and fiction with fact, in order to protect equal rights and justice for all.
Read the resolution in its entirety.
The Human Rights Campaign is America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against GLBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.
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