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  • Episcopalians Elect 1st Openly G.a.y Bishop

    Episcopalians Elect 1st Openly G.a.y. Bishop
    ___________________________________________

    MINNEAPOLIS - The Episcopal Church voted Tuesday to approve the election of their first openly g.a.y. bishop, a decision that risks splitting their denomination and shattering ties with their sister churches worldwide. After a delay caused by an allegation that he inappropriately touched another man and was affiliated with a Web site that had a link to p.o.r.n, the Episcopal General Convention approved the Rev. V. Gene Robinson as bishop of the Diocese of New Hampshire. Robinson had been cleared of the accusations a few hours before the vote was taken.

    Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold said the bishops voted 62-45 to confirm Robinson's election. Two bishops abstained from voting, but their ballots under church rules were counted as "no" votes. American conservatives and like-minded overseas bishops who represent millions of parishioners have said confirming Robinson would force them to consider breaking away from the church. The Episcopal Church, with 2.3 million members, is the U.S. branch of the 77 million-member global Anglican Communion, which has been debating the role of g.a.y.s for decades. A win by Robinson was expected to build momentum for other policy changes that would be favorable to homosexuals.

    http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmp...168/4w88o.html

    The Episcopal Church has no official rules "” either for or against "” ordaining g.a.y.s. Some Episcopal parishes already allow homosexual clergy to serve and g.a.y.s. who did not reveal their sexual orientation have served as bishops. But Robinson is the first clergyman in the Anglican Communion to live openly as a g.a.y. man before he was elected. In 1998, Anglican leaders approved a resolution calling g.a.y. s.e.x. "incompatible with Scripture." Bishops who hold that view believe that allowing Robinson to serve would be a tacit endorsement of ordaining homosexuals. Robinson, a 56-year-old divorced father of two, has been living with his male partner for 13 years and serving as an assistant to the current New Hampshire bishop, who is retiring. Parishioners there said they chose Robinson simply because he was the best candidate. Under church rules, a majority of bishops, clergy and lay people serving as convention delegates had to ratify Robinson's election.

    On Sunday, the House of Deputies, a legislative body comprised of clergy and lay people from dioceses nationwide, approved Robinson by a 2-to-1 margin; a committee endorsed him by secret ballot Friday. The House of Bishops voted to do the same. The final vote had been scheduled for Monday but was delayed at the last minute for an investigation of the claims against Robinson. Bishop Gordon Scruton of Western Massachusetts, who conducted the investigation, determined Tuesday that there was no need for a full-blown inquiry and the debate on Robinson proceeded immediately after. Scruton said the touching incident "was in public view and was brief" and happened at a church meeting where Robinson put his hand on a man's back and arm while engaged in a conversation.

    The claim of inappropriate touching was e-mailed to Vermont Bishop Thomas Ely by David Lewis of Manchester, Vt. A family friend said Tuesday that Lewis never intended the allegations to go public. Scruton said Lewis told him he did not want to file a formal complaint. The other concern was a p.o.r.n.ographic link found on a Web site of Outright, a secular outreach program for g.a.y. and bisexual youth. Robinson helped found the Concord, N.H., chapter of the group, but Scruton said the clergyman ended his association with the organization in 1998 and "was not aware that the organization has a Web site until this convention." "In both allegations it is my conclusion that there is no necessity to pursue further investigation," Scruton said in a speech to bishops. If conservatives do decide to break away, it is unclear what that would mean for the Episcopal Church. Some parishes could split from their dioceses and refuse to recognize clergy who support homosexuality, but stop short of a complete separation.

    A full schism would trigger, among other things, bitter fights over parish assets and undercut the global influence of the U.S. church. Griswold and Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, the leader of the Anglican Communion, each issued pleas for unity before the national meeting began. Those who support a wider role for g.a.y.s in the church contend that conservatives exaggerated the potential for a split, and note that among the bishops threatening to leave are some who pledged to walk away before over issues such as ordaining women "” then did not follow through. But many Episcopalians believe the debate over homosexuality has been more divisive. Bishops from Africa, Asia and Latin America, representing more than a third of Anglican Communion members worldwide, took the unprecedented step this year of severing relations with a diocese that authorizes same-s.e.x blessings "” the Diocese of New Westminster, based in Vancouver, British Columbia.

    One of the leaders in that split was Archbishop Peter Akinola, head of the Anglican Church of Nigeria, which serves 17.5 million people and ranks second in size to the mother Church of England among 38 Anglican branches. Some conservative American parishes had already formed breakaway movements, such as the Anglican Mission in America, which remains within the Anglican Communion but rejects the Episcopal Church. The American Anglican Council, which represents conservative Episcopalians, said before Monday's vote that if delegates approved Robinson's election, opponents would hold an "extraordinary meeting" in October to decide their next move.


    http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmp...ans_***_bishop

    substitute *** with g.a.y without the dots

    * * *

    Congratulations to all g.a.y people! You guys have better chances I guess to be granted legal rights such as marriage and immigration benefits. I'm a straight woman but I have g.a.y. friends and I wish all the best to them as well!

  • #2
    Episcopalians Elect 1st Openly G.a.y. Bishop
    ___________________________________________

    MINNEAPOLIS - The Episcopal Church voted Tuesday to approve the election of their first openly g.a.y. bishop, a decision that risks splitting their denomination and shattering ties with their sister churches worldwide. After a delay caused by an allegation that he inappropriately touched another man and was affiliated with a Web site that had a link to p.o.r.n, the Episcopal General Convention approved the Rev. V. Gene Robinson as bishop of the Diocese of New Hampshire. Robinson had been cleared of the accusations a few hours before the vote was taken.

    Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold said the bishops voted 62-45 to confirm Robinson's election. Two bishops abstained from voting, but their ballots under church rules were counted as "no" votes. American conservatives and like-minded overseas bishops who represent millions of parishioners have said confirming Robinson would force them to consider breaking away from the church. The Episcopal Church, with 2.3 million members, is the U.S. branch of the 77 million-member global Anglican Communion, which has been debating the role of g.a.y.s for decades. A win by Robinson was expected to build momentum for other policy changes that would be favorable to homosexuals.

    http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmp...168/4w88o.html

    The Episcopal Church has no official rules "” either for or against "” ordaining g.a.y.s. Some Episcopal parishes already allow homosexual clergy to serve and g.a.y.s. who did not reveal their sexual orientation have served as bishops. But Robinson is the first clergyman in the Anglican Communion to live openly as a g.a.y. man before he was elected. In 1998, Anglican leaders approved a resolution calling g.a.y. s.e.x. "incompatible with Scripture." Bishops who hold that view believe that allowing Robinson to serve would be a tacit endorsement of ordaining homosexuals. Robinson, a 56-year-old divorced father of two, has been living with his male partner for 13 years and serving as an assistant to the current New Hampshire bishop, who is retiring. Parishioners there said they chose Robinson simply because he was the best candidate. Under church rules, a majority of bishops, clergy and lay people serving as convention delegates had to ratify Robinson's election.

    On Sunday, the House of Deputies, a legislative body comprised of clergy and lay people from dioceses nationwide, approved Robinson by a 2-to-1 margin; a committee endorsed him by secret ballot Friday. The House of Bishops voted to do the same. The final vote had been scheduled for Monday but was delayed at the last minute for an investigation of the claims against Robinson. Bishop Gordon Scruton of Western Massachusetts, who conducted the investigation, determined Tuesday that there was no need for a full-blown inquiry and the debate on Robinson proceeded immediately after. Scruton said the touching incident "was in public view and was brief" and happened at a church meeting where Robinson put his hand on a man's back and arm while engaged in a conversation.

    The claim of inappropriate touching was e-mailed to Vermont Bishop Thomas Ely by David Lewis of Manchester, Vt. A family friend said Tuesday that Lewis never intended the allegations to go public. Scruton said Lewis told him he did not want to file a formal complaint. The other concern was a p.o.r.n.ographic link found on a Web site of Outright, a secular outreach program for g.a.y. and bisexual youth. Robinson helped found the Concord, N.H., chapter of the group, but Scruton said the clergyman ended his association with the organization in 1998 and "was not aware that the organization has a Web site until this convention." "In both allegations it is my conclusion that there is no necessity to pursue further investigation," Scruton said in a speech to bishops. If conservatives do decide to break away, it is unclear what that would mean for the Episcopal Church. Some parishes could split from their dioceses and refuse to recognize clergy who support homosexuality, but stop short of a complete separation.

    A full schism would trigger, among other things, bitter fights over parish assets and undercut the global influence of the U.S. church. Griswold and Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, the leader of the Anglican Communion, each issued pleas for unity before the national meeting began. Those who support a wider role for g.a.y.s in the church contend that conservatives exaggerated the potential for a split, and note that among the bishops threatening to leave are some who pledged to walk away before over issues such as ordaining women "” then did not follow through. But many Episcopalians believe the debate over homosexuality has been more divisive. Bishops from Africa, Asia and Latin America, representing more than a third of Anglican Communion members worldwide, took the unprecedented step this year of severing relations with a diocese that authorizes same-s.e.x blessings "” the Diocese of New Westminster, based in Vancouver, British Columbia.

    One of the leaders in that split was Archbishop Peter Akinola, head of the Anglican Church of Nigeria, which serves 17.5 million people and ranks second in size to the mother Church of England among 38 Anglican branches. Some conservative American parishes had already formed breakaway movements, such as the Anglican Mission in America, which remains within the Anglican Communion but rejects the Episcopal Church. The American Anglican Council, which represents conservative Episcopalians, said before Monday's vote that if delegates approved Robinson's election, opponents would hold an "extraordinary meeting" in October to decide their next move.


    http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmp...ans_***_bishop

    substitute *** with g.a.y without the dots

    * * *

    Congratulations to all g.a.y people! You guys have better chances I guess to be granted legal rights such as marriage and immigration benefits. I'm a straight woman but I have g.a.y. friends and I wish all the best to them as well!

    Comment


    • #3
      Wow, this is great news! Yesterday we thought they were going to bury this case, and now look what happened! Vatican will go nuts! LOL

      Comment


      • #4
        The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court is expected to rule soon on whether to legalize *** marriage in that state. If the court OKs *** marriages in Massachusetts, it may lead to at least partial recognition by other states of *** marriages. *** rights advocates are hailing the spate of good news for their cause and are especially gratified by the Supreme Court's June 26 decision that effectively struck down all state anti-sodomy laws. Speaking shortly after that ruling, Elizabeth Birch, the executive director of the leading *** rights advocacy group, the Human Rights Campaign, said, "Every once in a while in the history of a people there is a monumental paradigm shift ... it allows for a breakthrough to a deeper understanding to a nation as a whole. I believe we are in such a *** moment in terms of history."

        As unlikely as it once might have seemed, it was a Ronald Reagan appointee to the Supreme Court who, more than other person, triggered a series of events that may lead to legal recognition for *** marriages in every state. Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the broad language of the court's decision in Lawrence v. Texas striking down anti-sodomy laws. He said the liberty that is protected by the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution "gives substantial protection to adult persons in deciding how to conduct their private lives in matters pertaining to ***." When a state criminalizes sodomy, it creates," Kennedy said, "an invitation to subject homosexual persons to discrimination both in the public and in the private spheres." If, as Kennedy seems to be implying, states can't discriminate against ***s in the public sphere, then what basis can there be for a state ban on *** marriage? Kennedy also explicitly referred to marriage and child-rearing, declaring, "Persons in a homosexual relationship may seek autonomy for these purposes, just as heterosexual persons do."

        BASIS FOR FUTURE RULINGS?
        Paul Smith, the lawyer who successfully argued Lawrence v. Texas before the court, said the ruling has "very strong language that can be used in the future to attack other forms of discrimination." Dissenting Justice Antonin Scalia warned that the Lawrence decision "leaves on pretty shaky grounds state laws limiting marriage to opposite-*** couples." Citing Scalia's comment, Evan Wolfson, executive director of Freedom to Marry, a pro-may marriage group, said "When Scalia is right, it's rare. But when he's right, he's right. We stand today on the threshold of winning the freedom to marry." Yale law professor William Eskridge, a *** rights activist and a scholar whose research on the history of homosexuals was cited in the court's ruling, said, "Justice Scalia is right in the long term" that Lawrence v. Texas will add to the momentum for recognition of *** marriages. Kennedy's ruling, joined by four other justices, cast doubt on the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act DOMA, signed into law by President Clinton in 1996.

        That statute says states can refuse to recognize same-*** marriages performed in other states. DOMA's critics say it clashes with the Constitution's Full Faith and Credit Clause, which says each state must honor legal agreements, contracts and judgements from other states. Eskridge said, "DOMA is unconstitutional, but the Supreme Court will not dare say it in the near future "” and they probably should not dare say it in the near future. DOMA's unconstitutionality is an enterprise that we've got to work on state by state ... by having state laboratories that produce data and evidence which suggest that when marriages are recognized, God did not send the locusts." While the justices may not strike down DOMA in its entirety in the near future, Eskridge said, "a majority of the justices would be open to more localized challenges."

        WHAT MUST OTHER STATES DO?
        If, for example, Massachusetts recognizes same-*** marriages, and Mr. Smith and Mr. Jones are a *** couple in that state whose marriage breaks up, there will be a separation agreement embodied in a divorce decree. "That decree probably does have to be recognized in other states. If one of the parties wants to renege on the separation agreement embodied in the divorce decree and they move to another state and say, 'I'm not bound by this,' very probably under the Full Faith and Credit clause and as well as under state law, that party will have to stick with the divorce degree. In my opinion, it would be unconstitutional for Congress to say that the second state does not have to recognize a judgement in the first state. That's where the initial lawsuits should be brought." Eskridge said the same reasoning would apply if one partner in a same-*** marriage dies and there is a probate decree that applies to property of the decedent. "The legal principle throughout all of American history is that a marriage that is valid where celebrated will be valid elsewhere, even in a jurisdiction that would not have performed the marriage," Wolfson said. States honor marriages from other states "because we don't want couples to have to worry about whether they're married or not depending on whether they've crossed the border."

        A ***-marriage ruling in Massachsuetts would create a classic debate over federalism: Must what is legal in Massachusetts also be the law in Missouri or Utah, even if the majority of voters in those states rejects *** marriage? The issue will likely have reverberations in next year's elections. *** and ******* marriage could be a tough issue to sell to conservative voters in the South and the Midwest. No Democrat has ever won the presidency without winning at least a few Southern states. But some Democratic strategists say Republican candidates will be seen as spiteful "*** bashers" if they push measures to block *** marriage.

        CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT
        To forestall Supreme Court rulings or state court rulings that advance *** marriage, 76 members of the House, including 6 Democrats, are co-sponsoring the Federal Marriage Amendment, which says, "Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman." Wolfson denounced the proposed amendment as an attempt "to intimidate the courts from doing their job." He added the amendment would, if adopted, "write discrimination into the most important document we Americans have." It is, he said, "playing with fire near our most precious and important document." Explaining why he believes same-*** marriage is worth fighting for, Wolfson said marriage "gets automatic respect, honor, recognition ... Marriage more than any other single word is the inescapable, significant, powerful engine that will drive all the other gains that we care about." Another *** rights advocate, U.S. District Court Judge Deborah Batts, said, "We (***s and *******s) could show heterosexuals who marry a whole lot if we were able to take on the institution of marriage and turn it into what we know it could be ... We can show them what marriage is really worth and what it means." But Scalia predicted the court's *** rights decision will cause "a massive disruption of the current social order." The court, he argued, should not force its view of *** rights on the American people. "The premise of our system is that those judgments are to be made by the people, and not imposed by a governing caste that knows best," Scalia said.

        Comment


        • #5
          The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court is expected to rule soon on whether to legalize g a y marriage in that state. If the court OKs g a y marriages in Massachusetts, it may lead to at least partial recognition by other states of g a y marriages. G a y rights advocates are hailing the spate of good news for their cause and are especially gratified by the Supreme Court's June 26 decision that effectively struck down all state anti-sodomy laws. Speaking shortly after that ruling, Elizabeth Birch, the executive director of the leading g a y rights advocacy group, the Human Rights Campaign, said, "Every once in a while in the history of a people there is a monumental paradigm shift ... it allows for a breakthrough to a deeper understanding to a nation as a whole. I believe we are in such a g a y moment in terms of history."

          As unlikely as it once might have seemed, it was a Ronald Reagan appointee to the Supreme Court who, more than other person, triggered a series of events that may lead to legal recognition for g a y marriages in every state. Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the broad language of the court's decision in Lawrence v. Texas striking down anti-sodomy laws. He said the liberty that is protected by the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution "gives substantial protection to adult persons in deciding how to conduct their private lives in matters pertaining to s e x." When a state criminalizes sodomy, it creates," Kennedy said, "an invitation to subject homosexual persons to discrimination both in the public and in the private spheres." If, as Kennedy seems to be implying, states can't discriminate against ***s in the public sphere, then what basis can there be for a state ban on g a y marriage? Kennedy also explicitly referred to marriage and child-rearing, declaring, "Persons in a homosexual relationship may seek autonomy for these purposes, just as heterosexual persons do."

          BASIS FOR FUTURE RULINGS?
          Paul Smith, the lawyer who successfully argued Lawrence v. Texas before the court, said the ruling has "very strong language that can be used in the future to attack other forms of discrimination." Dissenting Justice Antonin Scalia warned that the Lawrence decision "leaves on pretty shaky grounds state laws limiting marriage to opposite-s e x couples." Citing Scalia's comment, Evan Wolfson, executive director of Freedom to Marry, a pro-may marriage group, said "When Scalia is right, it's rare. But when he's right, he's right. We stand today on the threshold of winning the freedom to marry." Yale law professor William Eskridge, a g a y rights activist and a scholar whose research on the history of homosexuals was cited in the court's ruling, said, "Justice Scalia is right in the long term" that Lawrence v. Texas will add to the momentum for recognition of g a y marriages. Kennedy's ruling, joined by four other justices, cast doubt on the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act DOMA, signed into law by President Clinton in 1996.

          That statute says states can refuse to recognize same-s e x marriages performed in other states. DOMA's critics say it clashes with the Constitution's Full Faith and Credit Clause, which says each state must honor legal agreements, contracts and judgements from other states. Eskridge said, "DOMA is unconstitutional, but the Supreme Court will not dare say it in the near future "” and they probably should not dare say it in the near future. DOMA's unconstitutionality is an enterprise that we've got to work on state by state ... by having state laboratories that produce data and evidence which suggest that when marriages are recognized, God did not send the locusts." While the justices may not strike down DOMA in its entirety in the near future, Eskridge said, "a majority of the justices would be open to more localized challenges."

          WHAT MUST OTHER STATES DO?
          If, for example, Massachusetts recognizes same- s e x marriages, and Mr. Smith and Mr. Jones are a g a y couple in that state whose marriage breaks up, there will be a separation agreement embodied in a divorce decree. "That decree probably does have to be recognized in other states. If one of the parties wants to renege on the separation agreement embodied in the divorce decree and they move to another state and say, 'I'm not bound by this,' very probably under the Full Faith and Credit clause and as well as under state law, that party will have to stick with the divorce degree. In my opinion, it would be unconstitutional for Congress to say that the second state does not have to recognize a judgement in the first state. That's where the initial lawsuits should be brought." Eskridge said the same reasoning would apply if one partner in a same-s e x marriage dies and there is a probate decree that applies to property of the decedent. "The legal principle throughout all of American history is that a marriage that is valid where celebrated will be valid elsewhere, even in a jurisdiction that would not have performed the marriage," Wolfson said. States honor marriages from other states "because we don't want couples to have to worry about whether they're married or not depending on whether they've crossed the border."

          A g a y-marriage ruling in Massachsuetts would create a classic debate over federalism: Must what is legal in Massachusetts also be the law in Missouri or Utah, even if the majority of voters in those states rejects g a y marriage? The issue will likely have reverberations in next year's elections. G a y and l e s b i a n marriage could be a tough issue to sell to conservative voters in the South and the Midwest. No Democrat has ever won the presidency without winning at least a few Southern states. But some Democratic strategists say Republican candidates will be seen as spiteful "g a y bashers" if they push measures to block g a y marriage.

          CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT
          To forestall Supreme Court rulings or state court rulings that advance g a y marriage, 76 members of the House, including 6 Democrats, are co-sponsoring the Federal Marriage Amendment, which says, "Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman." Wolfson denounced the proposed amendment as an attempt "to intimidate the courts from doing their job." He added the amendment would, if adopted, "write discrimination into the most important document we Americans have." It is, he said, "playing with fire near our most precious and important document." Explaining why he believes same-s e x marriage is worth fighting for, Wolfson said marriage "gets automatic respect, honor, recognition ... Marriage more than any other single word is the inescapable, significant, powerful engine that will drive all the other gains that we care about." Another g a y rights advocate, U.S. District Court Judge Deborah Batts, said, "We (g a y s and l e s b i a n s) could show heterosexuals who marry a whole lot if we were able to take on the institution of marriage and turn it into what we know it could be ... We can show them what marriage is really worth and what it means." But Scalia predicted the court's g a y rights decision will cause "a massive disruption of the current social order." The court, he argued, should not force its view of g a y rights on the American people. "The premise of our system is that those judgments are to be made by the people, and not imposed by a governing caste that knows best," Scalia said.

          Comment


          • #6
            Why should we be conditioned to think that g a y marriage has better chances to be accepted in case the Church somehow approves of homosexuality? Because of the underlying assumption that marriage is a religious matter, not just a State one. And that is wrong.

            Most Americans agree with our Constitution that all citizens deserve equal protection under the law. It seems odd, then, that so many Americans of late have taken a stand against same-s e x marriage. How and why can we oppose extending basic civil rights to a group of people trying to join mainstream society by establishing permanent family units? What makes this issue, a simple question of equal access to the law, so profoundly contentious? The answer is: opposing the separation of church and state. Opponents of same-*** marriage (including President Bush) almost always cite the preservation of "the sanctity of marriage" as their primary motivation. This argument overlooks that there are actually two distinct versions of marriage in this country -- religious marriage under the auspices of a church and civil marriage under federal or state law. The two are entirely separate and unrelated; getting a marriage license from City Hall doesn't make you married in the eyes of your religious community or God, and having a church celebrate your union doesn't change your legal status.

            Granting same-*** unions the same civil rights accorded heterosexual married couples will not affect or diminish the way religious communities choose to define and celebrate marriage. Every church and religious organization is free to forbid or encourage whatever behavior they choose. If your church wants to forbid religious marriage of same-*** couples, no government action can stop it. Our government's role is to guarantee the freedom and equality of every citizen under the law, however. A church's teachings regarding the definition and "sanctity" of marriage have no place in federal law. Let's not forget what the First Amendment says:

            "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion."

            Legislation (such as the Defense of Marriage Act and the "no *** marriage" statute Bush promises/threatens) imposes a religious definition of marriage on the entire country. More accurately, they impose the definition of a few specific religions on the entire country -- some churches in America actually do choose to recognize same-*** marriages. Such action flies in the face of a secular government, and we the voters must speak out now to eliminate religiously motivated discrimination and overrule its proponents.

            BUSH'S ATTEMPT TO CODIFY HIS RELIGIOUS CONVICTIONS SHOULD OFFEND EVERY AMERICAN WHO BELIEVES IN THE SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE. CIVIL MARRIAGE IS NOT A RELIGIOUS SACRAMENT, AND AMERICAN CITIZENS MUST LEARN TO RECOGNIZE THE DIFFERENCE.

            Comment

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