Presiding Bishop issues statement on LGBT rights

Posted Jan 30, 2014

[Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs press release] Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori has issued the following statement on LGBT (Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgendered) rights:

The Episcopal Church has been clear about our expectation that every member of the LGBT community is entitled to the same respect and dignity as any other member of the human family.  Our advocacy for oppressed minorities has been vocal and sustained.  The current attempts to criminalize LGBT persons and their supporters are the latest in a series, each stage of which has been condemned by this Church, as well as many other religious communities and nations.  Our advocacy work continues to build support for the full human rights and dignity of all persons, irrespective of gender, race, national origin, creed, sexual orientation, physical and mental ability or inability.  To do less is effectively to repudiate our membership in the human community.  No one of God’s children is worth less or more than another; none is to be discriminated against because of the way in which she or he has been created.  Our common task is to build a society of justice for all, without which there will never be peace on earth. Episcopalians claim that our part in God’s mission is to love God fully, and to love our neighbors as ourselves.  That means all our neighbors.

The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori
Presiding Bishop and Primate
The Episcopal Church


Comments (36)

  1. Sam Sharff says:

    Amen! Thank you for representing us well!

    1. Ellie Warren says:

      I heartily agree with Mr. Sharff. We are very fortunate to have The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori as our Presiding Bishop. Praying for more individuals and congregations to see the light in her statement.

  2. Craig Clere says:

    You are truly a blessing to us!

  3. Sarah Dylan Breuer says:

    Well said! Thank you.

  4. Deacon Cathy Scott says:

    Beautifully written! Thank you for your advocacy!

  5. David Krohne says:

    Great to read this.

  6. Thank you, Presiding Bishop! You are such an asset to the Episcopal Church and the world. I’m sure you could use a break, but personally I wish you could remain in your post for many years to come.

  7. Steven Colburn says:

    OK, now you just need to get the Bishop of the Diocese of SW Florida on board (among many other dioceses). We need to do this here at home, before we start preaching equality to other nations. Set your own house in order!

    1. Frank Bergen says:

      Given the polity of our church — and I’ll take it rather than any other I know — individual bishops, other clergy and laity mostly form their own consciences and their polity without coercion by ‘higher authority’. I would urge any who are dissatisfied with the position of their bishops to work directly with them toward a reformation of their consciences and the polity of their dioceses. And while the context of Bishop Katharine’s statement is not clear to me , I’m guessing she is speaking to our Episcopal Church, including to the Bishop of SW Florida, and I am grateful for her years of effective support for our LGBT members and fellow Americans.

  8. martha knight says:

    Thank you so much.

  9. Margaret Bullitt-Jonas says:

    I am so grateful for the clarity, concision, and Gospel-centered accuracy of this statement from our Presiding Bishop. It is inspiring. Thank you.

  10. Lucretia Jevne says:

    How fortunate we are to have such an articulate leader. Here we have the Gospel spoken in a few and meaningful words for all to understand. Bishop Katharine is truly a blessing and an inspiration!

  11. Keith Patterson says:

    Let us not forget those places in the church where exclusion based on race, class, gender, sexual orientation, able-ness, socio-economic status, etc. still exists. We as a church have traveled a long way in terms of inclusion. We have further to go to be the church God intends for us to be.

  12. The Rev. Mike Wernick says:

    My husband and I thank you for your continued witness not just to this community, but to all the marginalized. Blessings!

  13. Beth Pile says:

    Bravo, Presiding Bishop! We have a wonderful leader in you!

  14. Bob Van Keuren says:

    Thanks to the Presiding Bishop! This really matters, and needs to be said over and over.

  15. Billy M. Rhodes says:

    Well, a very Episcopal statement. Much can be read into it that it does not say.

  16. Eric Grinstead says:

    You’re kidding. Is this the same presiding bishop that is litigating against Christians who believe in the Bible. Drop the lawsuits, sister. Be a witness and a leader.

    1. Ann Ely says:


  17. Alda Morgan says:

    I, too, would like to know the context that moved Bishop Jefferts-Schorri to make this statement. Given the public and official witness of the Episcopal Church to the issues around the rightful place of the LGBT community, it would seem—on the surface of it—somewhat superfluous. Make no mistake, I surely do support our efforts to end the injustices and cruelties inflicted by homophobia. The church is on record in many ways, both to support our LGBT neighbors and to knock down the barriers that have confined them within the church and outside it . Unhappily, the job isn’t done yet, but I do wonder which specific circumstances provoked this response.

  18. John McCann says:

    We are a global faith, even tho there is autonomy, and a variety of voices which we accept as “diversity”. I would like to hear some more Episcopal voices raised in support those particulary in Uganda, being the worst, but in many African countries have draconian laws against LGBT people, and in many African countries, the clergy is complicit in accepting the laws. For those who would say “we have to get our own house in order” should think back to Hitler, when too few in the clergy spoke out against him until it was too late. Thus far, our response on Uganda and other countries with similar policies has been far too timid,

  19. Priscilla Ballou says:

    I’ll be those in power in Nigeria and Uganda are glad she’s ignoring them. It would have been nice if she’d provided a clue to why she’s saying this right now.

  20. Randy Marks says:

    Thanks for modeling being a great ally, Bishop Katharine. May my (LGBT) tribe do the same for others in need and may we support the most vulnerable among us, LGBT teens. Amen.

  21. Christopher Johnson says:

    In the wake of Gene Robinson, much was made of “local context” demanding Robbie’s pointy hat and hooked stick. So I guess as far as the EpiscoLeft is concerned, “local context” only goes one way. Good to know.

  22. Lella Lowe says:

    As always, proud of my leader.

  23. Ann Fontaine says:

    It is not “transgendered” — it is transgender. Thanks for the statement.

  24. Fr. George Stamm says:

    Bravo, but, as others have queried, what is the context?

  25. Rev. Dan Lediard, Diocese of Eastern Oregon says:

    What a beautiful, well timed and profoundly articulate statement which reflects the beliefs, hopes and dreams of millions. This includes those who may not believe in any sense of God and who personally know and live with the love and respect for all people with whom we share the same air we breathe.
    Thanks Katharine, Dan+

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