Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Mary Ann Mueller reports on Episcopal Church General Convention vote to approve blessing of same sex unions

This is significantvery significant—in lots of ways, though not in the way that those who supported it might think.

Report from the House of Bishops

INDIANAPOLIS, IN: Same Sex Blessings at GC2012 - "It was horrifying"


By Mary Ann Mueller
Special Correspondent
July 10, 2012

It was horrifying to watch and listen to the House of Bishops vote for same-gendered blessing liturgy.

Bishop after bishop, following the calling of their name, answered "Yes."

Bishop Alexander - yes; Bishop Whitmore - yes; Bishop Gray-Reeves - yes; Bishop Robinson - yes. One hundred and eleven times the answer was "Yes."

Bishop Douglas - yes; Bishop Gulick - yes; Bishop Peter Lee - yes; Bishop Jones - yes; Bishop Glasspool - yes; Bishop Johnston - yes; Bishop Beisner - yes; Bishop Jefferts-Schori - yes ...

With each "yes", my heart dropped a little farther, another tear formed.

Again The Episcopal Church was hurtling down a path of spiritual self-destruction.

It was heartbreaking to witness. It is soul-wrenching to write about.

Before the roll call vote, Bishop Duncan Gray of Mississippi pleaded with his brothers and sisters in the House of Bishops for an air of humility.

"I know this will pass," he prophesied. "Can we walk beyond this vote with a sense of humility and less of a triumphant way?"

The Mississippian was correct. A-049 passed and, for the most part, The Episcopal Church is celebrating.

So much for restraint, Bishop Gene Robinson immediately tweeted: "Episcopal Bishops authorize rite of blessing for same-sex relationships 111 to 41. ‪#LGBT"

Report from the House of Deputies

GC2012: HOD Vote came Silently on Same-Sex Blessings

By Mary Ann Mueller
Special Correspondent
July 10, 2012

[Same Sex Blessings] INDIANAPOLIS - The House of Deputies' afternoon vote on A-049 came in silence, the result of modern technology.

When the House of Bishops voted to approve same-gender blessings each bishop was called by name and with their own voice they were required to vocalize their vote - yea or nay.

Electronic voting was the rule of the day in the House of Deputies. Each Order - lay and clergy, were called to vote using their hand-held electronic voting devise.

The laity was called to vote.

"The vote is open." Silence followed. "The vote is closed."

The clergy were called to vote.

"The vote is open." Silence followed. "The vote is closed."

Silence ... the waiting began.

To pass the time the candidates for the Vice President of the House of Deputies were nominated from the floor.

Silence ... the waiting continues.

Finally, out-going House of Deputies' President Bonnie Anderson announced the results: Lay yes votes - 86; lay no votes - 19; lay divided votes - five. Clergy yes votes - 85; clergy no votes - 22; clergy divided votes - 4.

"A-049 passes with a 78% in the lay order and 76% in the clergy order," a tired House of Deputies' president confirmed.

And with that same-gender blessings received the blessing of General Convention and became a part of the fabric The Episcopal Church.

[President] Bonnie Anderson then dismissed the House of Deputies.

[NOTE: A vote by orders in the House of Deputies means that the totals: 86-19 Lay and 85-22 Clergy represents the numbers of deputations (of 4 clergy and 4 laity in each deputation) voting yes or no. A divided deputation is a deputation that is evenly divided 2-2. Since a majority of yes votes is needed to pass legislation, a divided deputation is, in effect, a no vote.]
Mary Ann Mueller is a journalist living in Texas. She is a regular contributor to VirtueOnline.

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