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Frequently Asked Questions
The Episcopal Church is still wrestling with the full inclusion of gay and lesbian folk and their equal access to the sacraments--though we are further ahead than most denominations. Many dioceses and congregations are actively supportive, a few are actively hostile, and most are somewhere in between.
In 1976 the General Convention of the Episcopal Church passed the following resolutions...
In 1994 the General Convention of passed the following resolution...
In 1997 the General Convention Church passed the following resolution...
Closeted gay and lesbian people have been ordained throughout Christian history. The same has been true in the Episcopal Church.
In 1977, Bishop Paul Moore of New York ordained Ellen Barrett as the first openly lesbian priest in the Episcopal Church. Since then, numerous openly gay and lesbian clergy have been ordained or come out of the closet.
In 1993, Bishop Otis Charles of Utah retired and came out.
In 1994 the General Convention passed the following resolution...
In 1996, several conservative bishops filed heresy charges against retired Bishop Walter Righter because he had ordain an openly gay man to the deaconate. The ecclesiastical court dismissed the charges--ruling that the Episcopal Church had no clear doctrine on the issue.
In 2003, Gene Robinson of New Hampshire was consecrated as the first openly gay bishop in the Episcopal Church.
In 2009, the General Convention passed the following resolution...
As a result, an increasing number of bishops have promulgated official, written policies that permit the blessing of same-sex relationships. In a few dioceses, bishops allow their clergy to act as agents of the state and marry same-gender couples. Click here for more information.
Absolutely! Integrity welcomes the membership and support of heterosexual folk.
Both bisexual and transgender folk are widely misunderstood and discriminated against by both the straight and gay communities.
In 1948, Alfred Kinsey published a 7-point sexual orientation scale. Although most people are exclusively heterosexual (0) or homosexual (6) in their orientation and behavior, many fall somewhere in-between (1-5). Contrary to popular belief, most bisexual people do not have concurrent relationship with both men and women.
"Transgender" is a broad term for those who do not conform to societal gender norms. It includes those who enjoy wearing clothing associated with the opposite gender (transvestites or cross-dressers) and those who feel that their internal gender identity does not match their physical gender (transsexuals). Many transvestites are heterosexual. Not all transsexuals have had, or are in the process of k8having, a "sex-change operation."
A number of passages in the Bible are used to condemn homosexuality. Click here for a good analysis of those passages.
For Episcopalians, the four gospels are the most important part of the Bible. It is significant that Jesus never addressed homosexuality. However, Jesus spent a great of time ministering to those considered outcasts by the society and religious leaders of his day.
Episcopalians have historically looked to three sources of spiritual authority--scripture, tradition, and reason. Using scientific knowledge and personal experience, we employ our God-given intellect to interpret the Bible. In the past, the Bible has been used to justify slavery and the domination of women. Even so, the Holy Spirit is leading the church into a greater understanding of the truth about homosexuality.
There are about 2000 members of Integrity USA. This number goes up and down as new members join and current members fail to renew.
There are about 60 in the United States. This number goes up and down as chapters form and dissolve. Click here for a current list.
Proclaiming God's inclusive love in and through the Episcopal Church since 1975.
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