The following resolution will be considered by the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles at its upcoming Diocesan Convention -- to be held December 5th/6th in Ontario. If you are a delegate to that convention I urge your support. Thank you!
Resolution regarding Marriage Equality
Resolved, that the One Hundred Nineteenth Annual Meeting of the Church in the
Diocese of Los Angeles direct that the following resolution be filed with the
Secretary of the General Convention for consideration by the 78th General
Convention of The Episcopal Church:
Resolved, the Diocese of Los Angeles urges the 78th General Convention of The Episcopal Church to take any and all steps necessary to make the Rite of Holy Matrimony available to same-sex couples throughout The Episcopal Church immediately.
At General Convention 2012 the resolution authorizing Liturgical Resources for Blessing Same-Gender Relationships (A049) included authorization for bishops to exercise “generous pastoral response to meet the needs of members of this Church” and the “adaptation of these materials to meet the needs of members of this Church.”
In the years since 2012, the cultural landscape has shifted so dramatically that civil marriage equality has become a reality for a majority of Episcopalians in the United States In some dioceses clergy are blessing civil marriages between same-sex couples and in others the A049 resources have been adapted for clergy to bless them on behalf of The Episcopal Church and to solemnize them as agents of their state.
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg famously said during the March 2013 oral arguments on DOMA (the Defense of Marriage Act) “There are two kinds of marriages; full marriage and the skim milk marriage.” In June 2013 the Supreme Court ruled against those skim milk marriages in United States vs. Windsor – opening the way for equal federal protections for same-sex marriages.
Our Bishops, along with bishops from all six dioceses in the State of California, joined other faith leaders in amicus curiae briefs supporting the overturn of Proposition 8 and the repeal of DOMA. And the 77th General Convention overwhelming adopted Resolution D018 urging Congress to end discrimination against same-sex marriage and to repeal DOMA.
It is time to act consistently with our words and witness to marriage equality. As we continue to call the state to equally protect all marriages in our culture at large, it is time to make Holy Matrimony a sacrament for all who seek it appropriately in the Church.
The time has come for The Episcopal Church to move beyond the skim milk of generous pastoral response and adapted materials for same-sex marriages and to acknowledge the equal sanctity of all marriages by making the Rite of Holy Matrimony equally available to same and opposite sex couples.
Canon Jim White
General Convention Deputation; Chair
on behalf of the General Convention Deputation