Press

National Religious Leadership Roundtable applauds Episcopal House of Bishops decision to end ban on gay bishops

Date: 
July 14, 2009

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Pedro Julio Serrano, Communications Coordinator
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WASHINGTON, July 14 — The National Religious Leadership Roundtable, convened by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, applauds the Episcopal Church House of Bishops decision to open "any ordained ministry" to gay and lesbian clergy. The resolution was passed by the House of Bishops on Monday, while a similar measure was passed on Sunday by the House of Deputies, the other Episcopal legislative body. The House of Bishops' version will be reconsidered today by the House of Deputies. If passed the measure will undermine a moratorium on ordaining gay and lesbian bishops that was adopted at the convention three years ago.

Statement by Susan Russell, President, Integrity
National Religious Leadership Roundtable Member

"While concurrence on the amended resolution by the House of Deputies is necessary before it is officially adopted by the church as a whole, there is no question that the House of Bishops' vote was a historic move forward and a great day for all who support the full inclusion of all the baptized in the Body of Christ.

"It was a tremendous privilege to be a witness to the courage and candor of the bishops who spoke truth to each other and to us — and who called the Episcopal Church to speak our truth to our Anglican Communion brothers and sisters and to the world.

"The truth is we are a church committed to mission — we are a church committed to the full inclusion of all the baptized in that mission — and we are a church committed to creating as broad a place to stand as possible for all who wish to be part of this great adventure of being disciples of Jesus.

"In this carefully constructed and prayerfully considered resolution, our presiding bishop got what she both asked for and voted for: a positive statement about where we are as a church in 2009 — a church striving to actually become the church former Presiding Bishop Edmond Browning called us to be nearly 20 years ago now, a church where there are no outcasts.

"The debate on the floor of the House of Bishops made it very clear that our bishops knew exactly what they were doing when they passed this by a nearly 2-1 margin. The resolution passed by the House of Bishops was another step in the Episcopal Church's 'coming out' process — and it sends a strong 'come and see' message to anyone looking for a faith community where God's inclusive love is not just proclaimed but practiced."

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The National Religious Leadership Roundtable (NRLR), convened by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, is an interfaith network of leaders from pro-lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) faith, spiritual and religious organizations. We work in partnership with other groups to promote understanding of and respect for LGBT people within society at large and in communities of faith. We promote understanding and respect within LGBT communities for a variety of faith paths and for religious liberty, and to achieve commonly held goals that promote equality, spirituality and justice.

The mission of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is to build the grassroots power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. We do this by training activists, equipping state and local organizations with the skills needed to organize broad-based campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation, and building the organizational capacity of our movement. Our Policy Institute, the movement’s premier think tank, provides research and policy analysis to support the struggle for complete equality and to counter right-wing lies. As part of a broader social justice movement, we work to create a nation that respects the diversity of human expression and identity and creates opportunity for all. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., we also have offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis and Cambridge.