The Episcopal Church should proudly wear the mantle of being known as the “gay church,” Bishop V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire told a lunchtime audience at General Convention July 8.
Speaking to about 75 deputies and visitors to General Convention at an event sponsored by the Consultation, an association of progressive church-related advocacy groups, Bishop Robinson spoke to the issue of whether “LGBT Equality is a Matter of Justice?”
Answering in the affirmative, Bishop Robinson urged the deputies to follow their consciences and disavow 2006 General Convention Resolution B033 that pledged that the Episcopal Church would refrain from consecrating gay bishops or authorize public rites for the blessing of same-sex unions.
Bishop Robinson predicted that the 2009 Convention “will be one of those conventions, like 1976 and 2003, where history is made.” He urged his audience to watch how their diocesan deputies and bishops voted and see that they “stand up for what is right.”
The Anaheim Convention was a “historic moment,” he said, telling the audience they could help “give birth to this new church of ours.” Gays and lesbians who did not know Christ, or who had left the church in disagreement with its traditional teachings, are a vital mission field, he said.
During an impromptu question and answer session, Bishop Robinson urged gay and lesbian activists to “focus on the great moveable middle” at General Convention.
“They no longer hate us. They even look kindly on us,” he said, and “toleration beats abuse.”
However, toleration was not enough. “God’s love is about celebrating one another” in the fullness of their diversity, he said.
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