After a lengthy hiatus (since August, 2012), conversations among clergy in the Diocese of Milwaukee will begin again. My earlier reports on the conversations here and throughout the church are available here.
Two developments since our last conversation may affect how we talk together and what we say. First is the overwhelming acceptance of the provisional rite by Episcopal dioceses. Integrity USA is keeping tabs on that here. By my count, only 18 domestic dioceses have definitely said “no” (Integrity includes the Diocese of Milwaukee in that total). The status of another thirteen is unknown to Integrity.
The second important development is the sea-change in American attitudes toward gay marriage. With a majority of the population now favoring it, legislatures continuing to legalize it, and the Supreme Court’s decisions on Proposition 8 and DOMA this summer, there seems to be something of an inevitability about it.
Today the House of Lords in the UK Parliament were debating a gay marriage bill that is opposed by the Church of England. Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby spoke against the bill in this speech. Among his complaints:
It confuses marriage and weddings. It assumes that the rightful desire for equality – to which I’ve referred supportively – must mean uniformity, failing to understand that two things may be equal but different. And as a result it does not do what it sets out to do, my Lords. Schedule 4 distinguishes clearly between same gender and opposite gender marriage, thus not achieving true equality.
Anyone remember “Separate but equal?”