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Integrity USA

National Victories

Celebrate with us!

The 2012 General Convention of The Episcopal Church gave us many things to be thankful for, and the church is creating a national policy structure that will empower our clergy, parishes and laypeople to be more inclusive than ever.

Legislative Victories

gc2012 logoOur biggest headline: The Episcopal Church has authorized a rite for the blessing of same-gender unions!  Integrity has worked for this goal for years, hand-in-hand with our allies and friends. This means that bishops can permit (or decline to permit) blessings to take place in their dioceses, using this rite.  Many bishops, including some in conservative dioceses like Texas, have already announced that the rite will be available in some of their churches.

But beyond our big headline, Integrity has accomplished much more:

  • Protection for people of all gender identities and gender expressions – trans people are now specified in our non-discrimination canons, both in the ordination process and in the work of the laity.
  • A task force will conduct a study of marriage over the next three years, potentially leading to further changes in the canon to reflect a variety of experiences in our church and society – this could lead to further progress toward true marriage equality.
  • The Episcopal Church now speaks with one voice against unequal immigration policy regarding same-gender couples.  We have sent a message to Washington to end unequal and unjust treatment, and our lobbyists can now work toward policy change.
  • TEC has also taken a stand against the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act, urging its repeal.
  • Our church has called for a church-wide response to bullying that occurs because of perceived differences including sexual orientation and gender expression/identity. All Episcopal ministries, especially those working in education, are encouraged to take specific steps to prevent these incidents and bring treatment and reconciliation when they occur.

Our victories have gained broad-based support
We could not have succeeded without the support of our members, partners and friends.   Many of them provided crucial financial support that enabled Integrity to have a robust presence at Convention — participating in hearings, working with legislative leaders, spreading our message, and conducting a Eucharist that garners a great deal of goodwill.

Also crucial was the support of our organizational partners across the church.  This includes:

  • The Consultation
  • TransEpiscopal
  • The Chicago Consultation
  • National Association of Episcopal Schools

Finally, we were thrilled with the broad base of support among voting deputies.  All of our legislation passed by wide margins, including an amazing vote on the authorization of rites for same-gender blessings:  that passed with the support of 78% of lay deputies, 76% of clergy deputies, and 72% of bishops!

We are celebrating, but our work is not done
Same-gender blessings, while a huge step forward, are not the same as marriage equality.  We are still working toward a change in the canons that will make no distinction between same-gender and opposite-gender couples, allowing any couple to use all the marriage rites of the church.

The inclusion of transgender persons in the church is only beginning.  We have much education to do, both nationally and locally, before transgender people can feel fully at home in The Episcopal Church.  Remember, the "T" in LGBT is not silent!

The huge advances we have made at the national policy level are still far from the reality many experience in our parish pews.  While many lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people have good relations in their churches, there are far too many parishes where inclusion is not the norm.  Even where LGBT people are visible in parishes, serve on vestries, and preach from the pulpit, there are masses of people in their communities who have been rejected by Christian churches because they are different.  These people need to hear the good news that The Episcopal Church has to offer.

Would you like to help us achieve these goals?  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to volunteer with our national policy team.  Thank you!