Thursday, June 22, 2006

Lesbians and gays are just “bargaining chips in the game of Anglican politics”

By Diane Silver

The Episcopal Church’s retreat on consecrating lesbian or gay bishops pleases no one, solves little, but does apparently keep the wheel spinning in a long-running game of international religious politics.

The New York Times provides new perspective today on yesterday’s vote. In that action, American Episcopalians backed down in the face of pressure from the worldwide Anglican Communion and voted, in essence, to refrain from picking any out lesbian or gay bishops, at least, for the moment. The controversy was touched off in 2003 by the elevation of openly gay Rev. V. Gene Robinson to become bishop of New Hampshire.

In This Moment’s Nancy Jane Moore, who was raised in the church, commented here.

The Times quotes Rev. Susan Russell, president of Integrity, an advocacy group for gay and lesbian Episcopalians.

"It's absolutely not the end of anything," she said. "It's part of a long conversation. Those who wanted an up-or-down vote on gays in the episcopacy didn't get any clarity, and they're not happy. Liberals aren't happy. And gays? Well, we're being treated like bargaining chips in the game of Anglican politics."
More perspective on the true purpose of the voting comes from the Times.
"Although many of us fully support Bishop Robinson, this is the price we unfortunately had to pay to keep the church together and keep it at the table with the Anglican Communion," said Bishop Kirk S. Smith of Arizona, who voted for the resolution but said he supported gay men and lesbians in the episcopate. "It was the price of a ticket to admission for further work with the Anglican Communion."

Why Do We Care About This?

Although In This Moment doesn’t primarily concern itself with religion, among our primary topics are the politics of civil rights and the fight for fair laws for ALL people, including lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgendered people. Thus, we often focus on religion because some religious beliefs and certain religious institutions are the primary promoters of prejudice and discrimination.

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