Gays make advances at Episcopal confab
by Chuck Colbert, Keen News Service
From coast to coast, their parishes carry a sign: "The Episcopal church welcomes you." And yet, some among the gay faithful have felt that greeting included an invisible asterisk: "Unless you are a gay or lesbian couple" who wants to be fully included in parish life of the church.
Not anymore, according to the Rev. Susan Russell of All Saints Church in Pasadena, Calif. "We feel the asterisk has been erased," she said, referring to one resolution adopted last week in Anaheim, Calif. where the Episcopal Church met in the general convention.
Russell is president of the organization Integrity, the denomination's national gay and lesbian caucus, and an LGBT advocacy group.
There were, in fact, two resolutions approved by the Episcopalian gathering. The first allows for the consecration of openly lesbian and gay bishops. The second measure authorizes bishops to bless same-sex unions.
"What's significant about what happened at the Episcopal General Convention is that finally we are telling the truth about who we are," Rev. Russell said, speaking from her cell phone July 17. "I am so proud to be part of a church that at this point in its life has decided truth and inclusion and justice are prevailing enough values that we are wiling to tell the truth about that even when it's a challenge to our wider Anglican family."
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