LGBT Staffers on Capitol Hill

24 05 2010

This is pretty interesting … from Politico of all places.  Emphasis Mine.

Gay Staff Association Relaunches

The Gay and Lesbian Staff Association spent its early years trying to protect the identity of its members, acting as a support group for closeted congressional staffers.

But now the organization is taking a sharp turn, encouraging its members to be more public about their sexual identities and more vocal about promoting gay and transgender rights legislation. Now called the LGBT Congressional Staff Association, the group is relaunching, with the mission of making members of Congress and their staffs more aware of how integral — and integrated — gay staffers are in modern congressional culture.

There’s more …

Integrity New York Farewells

18 05 2010

Last night the good folks of Integrity New York held a meeting in a diner to speak about “where do we go from here” and “what do we want to do”

Lots of great ideas were put forth onto the table, including how to spread our reach into New Jersey and Long Island and basically the New York Metro Area.

I pray that the nascent efforts on our part over the past few years will bear some wonderful and ripe fruit.  The desire and ability is there to have a vibrant chapter, but what is sadly lacking is people.

See:  The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few. (Luke 10)

Still, it was nice to get together with the folks this week, and it was wonderful to have received some lovely gifts as a token of their appreciation for my efforts as convener.

There was a wire-metal cross adorned with a whole bunch of celtic shapes

There was a stained-glass type decal to put on the Blessed and Holy Jeep Saint Jeronica

And my personal favourite …. a copy of “Hymns Ancient and Modern.”  I have a small hymnbook collection from when i was child up to the 1940 and 1982 hymnbooks of The Episcopal Church and this will supplement them all quite nicely!

++Cantuar Said What?

10 02 2010

This is filed under the “Wonders Never Cease” department

From the Times of London:

Rowan Williams Issues ‘Profound Apology’ to Gay Christians

The  quote, taken from a transcript of the address

The debate over the status and vocational possibilities of LGBT people in the Church is not helped by ignoring the existing facts, which include many regular worshippers of gay or lesbian orientation and many sacrificial and exemplary priests who share this orientation. There are ways of speaking about the question that seem to ignore these human realities or to undervalue them; I have been criticised for doing just this, and I am profoundly sorry for the carelessness that could give such an impression.

Well, I could be very well mistaken as I have not been following Church news as I once did, but this is the first time I believe that the head of an Anglican Province has said that this is about people.

My own two cents is that in discussing these things, it is always important remember that we are not talking about abstract issues, or about a sexual act, but we are talking about people … people who have dedicated their lives to serving God.  For any Church not to recognize people’s gifts, calling and dedication it does nothing but diminish the Body of Christ in the long run.

I’ll read the whole thing later .. Looks like he mentions bishops, his recent trip to the US, and the Covenant.

Quote of the Day

5 02 2010

“You know, the Church is pretty good about pulling drowning people out of the river … we’re good at the charity thing, but what we need to do is to walk back upstream and figure out who his throwing them in the river in the first place … ”

–The Right Reverend V. Gene Robinson, Bishop of New Hampshire

Bishop Robinson was on the Rachel Maddow show last night to discuss the national prayer breakfast and President Obama and Secretary Clinton’s remarks on the “Kill-the-Gays” bill in Uganda.  You can view the clip here

The Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church on Uganda

4 12 2009

The Episcopal Church

Office of Public Affairs

Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori

concerning proposed bill in Uganda

[December 4, 2009]  The following is the statement of Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori concerning proposed private member’s bill on homosexuality in the Parliament of Uganda:

The Episcopal Church joins many other Christians and people of faith in urging the safeguarding of human rights everywhere.  We do so in the understanding that “efforts to criminalize homosexual behavior are incompatible with the Gospel of Jesus Christ” (General Convention 2006, Resolution D005).

This has been the repeated and vehement position of Anglican bodies, including several Lambeth Conferences.  The Primates’ Meeting, in the midst of severe controversy over issues of homosexuality, nevertheless noted that, as Anglicans, “we assure homosexual people that they are children of God, loved and valued by him, and deserving of the best we can give of pastoral care and friendship” (Primates’ Communiqué, Dromantine, 2005).

The Episcopal Church represents multiple and varied cultural contexts (the United States and 15 other nations), and as a Church we affirm that the public scapegoating of any category of persons, in any context, is anathema.  We are deeply concerned about the potential impingement on basic human rights represented by the private member’s bill in the Ugandan Parliament.

In the United States and elsewhere, we note that changed laws do help to shift public opinion and urge a more humane response to difference.  The Hate Crimes Act recently passed in the United States is one example, as are the many pieces of civil rights legislation that have slowly changed American public behavior, especially in the area of race relations.  We note the distance our own culture still needs to travel in removing discriminatory practice from social interactions, yet we have also seen how changed hearts and minds have followed legal sanctions on discriminatory behavior.

We give thanks for the clear position of the United States government on human rights, for the State Department’s annual human rights report on Uganda, which observes that the existing colonial-era law on same-sex relations is a societal abuse of human rights, and for the State Department’s publicly voiced opposition to the present bill.  We urge the United States government to grant adequate access to the U.S. asylum system for those fleeing persecution on the basis of homosexuality or gender identity, to work with other governments, international organizations, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to provide adequate protection for these asylum seekers, and to oppose any attempts at extradition under a law such as that proposed in Uganda.

Finally, we note that much of the current climate of fear, rejection, and antagonism toward gay and lesbian persons in African nations has been stirred by members and former members of our own Church.  We note further that attempts to export the culture wars of North America to another context represent the very worst of colonial behavior.  We deeply lament this reality, and repent of any way in which we have participated in this sin.

We call on all Episcopalians to seek their own conversion toward an ability to see the image of God in the face of every neighbor, of whatever race, gender, sexual orientation, theological position, or creed.  God has created us in myriad diversity, and no one sort or condition of human being can fully reflect the divine.  Only the whole human race begins to be an adequate mirror of the divine.

We urge continued prayer for those who live in fear of the implications of this kind of injustice and discrimination, and as a Church, commit ourselves anew to seek partnerships with the Church of Uganda, or any portion thereof, in serving the mission of God and the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  That Gospel is larger than any party or faction.  It is only in mutual service and recognition that we will begin to mend our divisions.

We are grateful for the willingness of the Anglican Communion Office and Lambeth Palace to hear this plea on behalf of all God’s people, and urge their continued assistance in seeking greater justice.  We note the impediments this legislation would pose to the ability to continue a Listening Process in which all of the Anglican Communion is currently engaged.

The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori

Presiding Bishop

The Episcopal Church