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


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Comments (40)

  1. 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+

  2. The governments of Uganda and Nigeria have passed or are considering legislation which essentially makes it illegal to be gay. In parts of Nigeria that are subject to sharia law, conviction can lead to death by stoning. These actions, which have already led to anti-LGBT vigilante violence, have been enthusiastically supported by the Anglican presiding bishops in both countries. You may read more about the situation on the Integrity blog http://www.walkingwithintegrity.org.

    The board and staff of Integrity are profoundly grateful to the Presiding Bishop and the President of the House of Deputies for speaking out on behalf of vulnerable LGBT people in these countries.

  3. Judy Lane says:

    Amen !!!

  4. The Rev. Rick Britton says:

    I thank Bishop Jefferts – Schori for her statement. The leadership in the Anglican Churches in Nigeria and Uganda have offered statements of complicity regarding the inhuman and unjust laws being considered that will oppress LGBT citizens. Our prayers and prophetic voices should also be offered for the safety and equal treatment of all LGBT athletes competing in the Sochi Winter Olympics.

  5. Doug Desper says:

    OK, let’s go all the way and I’m not kidding. Since marriage is being redefined according to individual demands rather than Biblical (Matthew 19) or current societal norms, we must allow “any consenting adults” to enter into the contract. So, if two or more want to unite into a loving, supportive, and mutually beneficial relationship (especially in these times) they should be allowed to do so and call it a marriage. The logic cannot be mustered to forbid it if we are in a season of new definitions predicated on an individual’s right to be treated equally in all things. If one is not satisfied with Jesus’ plainly worded reiteration (Matthew 19) of the design for marriage (from Genesis 2) then you absolutely have no restriction for marriage to mean something for just one or two identity groups. Marriage must then be defined by “loving, mutually beneficial, and supportive” which can include any number of persons and genders.

    1. The PB’s statement is silent on the matter of same-sex marriage. So is Matthew 19.

    2. Jeffrey Parker says:

      Quite an interesting set of responses. What about LGBTQ? There seems to be little agreement on the Q aspect. Where does it all stop? Oops! Maybe if doesn’t stop. I don’t think the question of the way a person is created and versus what is acquired behavior has been resolved. The PB’s statement is very slick; one almost misses what she does not address. Perhaps I should be greateful for that. At least we are not esposing income equality here.
      All I can do under the circumstances is to remember the Summary of the Law, BCP p. 319.

  6. Selena Smith says:

    I support the statement of the Presiding Bishop as reflective of the Episcopal Church, and yet I cannot support that it is from her. What have been her actions in support of LGBT persons and their families? What is the “advocacy work” she states that continues to be done by the Church for all persons? That saying “Preach the Gospel, and when necessary use words” tells me that her words lack soul, spirit and embodiment. “Reimaging” or “Reimaginging” the Church could be a start if that was less concerned about structure and more concerned about people.

  7. Carol Reynolds says:

    Well said – you are a blessing to our church!

  8. The Rev. Harry I. Parsell says:

    Thank you, Bishop Schori for your wisdom and outspokeness about seeking acceptance and respect for all God’s children. Your comments are well said and I only hope and pray that the world, as well as our country will follow your direction. You have been a treasure to our Church and a blessing to the Anglican Communion.

  9. Tia Christopher says:

    Thank you, St. Michael in the Hills, for welcoming; for saying “God Loves You — No Exceptions”; for offering a home [community]. There are so many LGBT youths out there who hate themselves because they’ve been taught that God doesn’t love them. There are so many who aren’t here anymore because their lives were ended either from their own misery, or others’ violence. As an Autistic person of Jewish descent, I don’t understand why people thumping on their various English Bible translations don’t see that being exclusive is the same thing the “Scribes-and-Pharisees” did.

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