General Convention 2006

Send out your light and your truth; let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling. Then I will go to the altar of God, and I will praise you . . . Psalm 43:3-4

The General Convention of the Episcopal Church
met in Columbus, Ohio from June 11-21, 2006.
This blog offers a view of the convention and beyond from the perspective of Lydia Evans, a two-time lay deputy from the Diocese of South Carolina.
Visit the links found below for additional resources
as well as pre- and post-convention coverage.
Thank you for remembering the convention deputies and their families in your prayers. For further resources, visit my webpages.
For all posts from the month of June, click here.
For all posts from the month of July, click here.


Guess Who?

I've been doing a little digging around this past week, and in my digging, I bumped into an interesting little coincidence (or is it?).

A095 -- Gay and Lesbian Affirmation is a resolution which originated from the Standing Commission on National Concerns, one of the CCABs during the last triennium.

Guess who chaired the Standing Commission on National Concerns for 2003-2006?

The Rev. Canon Michael Barlowe, nominee in the Newark Episcopal election, served as chair of the SCNC, which put forth six resolutions for presentation to the 75th General Convention. All in all, these resolutions went unnoticed in Columbus, except for one – A095 Gay and Lesbian Affirmation.

A095 is a resolution which begins by asking for a reaffirmation of the Episcopal Church’s support of gay and lesbian persons and their entitlement to full civil rights as well as the Church’s continued advocacy on their behalf for domestic partnership benefits. Ultimately A095 asks for quite a bit more, however. The last resolve requests that the 75th GC “oppose any state or federal constitutional amendment that prohibits same-sex civil marriage or civil unions.”

* FINAL VERSION - Concurred

Resolution A095
Title: Gay and Lesbian Affirmation
Topic: Civil Rights
Committee: 10. Social and Urban Affairs
House of Initial Action: Bishops
Proposer: National Concerns


Resolved, the House of Deputies concurring, That the 75th General Convention reaffirm the Episcopal Church’s historical support of gay and lesbian persons as children of God and entitled to full civil rights; and be it further

, That the 75th General Convention reaffirm the 71st General Convention’s action calling upon “municipal council, state legislatures and the United States Congress to approve measures giving gay and lesbian couples protection[s] such as: bereavement and family leave policies; health benefits; pension benefits; real-estate transfer tax benefits; and commitments to mutual support enjoyed by non-gay married couples”; and be it further

, That the 75th General Convention oppose any state or federal constitutional amendment that prohibits same-sex civil marriage or civil unions.

For at least thirty years, and even as debate about the role of gay and lesbian people within the Church has continued, successive General Conventions have recognized the equal claim of gay and lesbian persons to the civil rights enjoyed by all other persons. In 1994, General Convention (1994-D006) called on all levels of government to support legislation giving same-sex couples the same legal protections as non-same-sex married couples. In light of recent legislative actions in several states, and a proposed federal constitutional amendment, an affirmation of the Episcopal Church's support for equal rights is warranted.

One more thing -- Fr. Barlowe was appointed to the Social and Urban Affairs Committee at GC2006, and his subcommittee assignment was Human Sexuality. He was in just the right spot to watch the progress of A095, and when needed, to give it a little nudge through committee. And then, when we were up to our eyeballs in unfinished business on the floor of the House of Deputies, somehow A095 got through at the eleventh hour.

Isn't that lucky?


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