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Resolution Number: 2000-D039
Title: Acknowledge Relationships Other Than Marriage and Existence of Disagreement on the Church's Teaching
Legislative Action Taken: Concurred as Substituted and Amended
Final Text:

Resolved, That the members of the 73rd General Convention intend for this Church to provide a safe and just structure in which all can utilize their gifts and creative energies for mission; and be it further

Resolved, That we acknowledge that while the issues of human sexuality are not yet resolved, there are currently couples in the Body of Christ and in this Church who are living in marriage and couples in the Body of Christ and in this Church who are living in other life-long committed relationships; and be it further

Resolved, That we expect such relationships will be characterized by fidelity, monogamy, mutual affection and respect, careful, honest communication, and the holy love which enables those in such relationships to see in each other the image of God; and be it further

Resolved, That we denounce promiscuity, exploitation, and abusiveness in the relationships of any of our members; and be it further

Resolved, That this Church intends to hold all its members accountable to these values, and will provide for them the prayerful support, encouragement, and pastoral care necessary to live faithfully by them; and be it further

Resolved, That we acknowledge that some, acting in good conscience, who disagree with the traditional teaching of the Church on human sexuality, will act in contradiction to that position; and be it further

Resolved, That in continuity with previous actions of the General Convention of this Church, and in response to the call for dialogue by the Lambeth Conference, we affirm that those on various sides of controversial issues have a place in the Church, and we reaffirm the imperative to promote conversation between persons of differing experiences and perspectives, while acknowledging the Church's teaching on the sanctity of marriage.

Citation: General Convention, Journal of the General Convention of...The Episcopal Church, Denver, 2000 (New York: General Convention, 2001), p. 287f.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY

Author:
Originating House: House of Deputies
Originating Committee: Committee on Dispatch of Business

House of Deputies

Original Text of Resolution:

(D039)

Resolved, the House of Bishops concurring, That the 73rd General Convention affirm the teaching of the House of Bishop's Pastoral Study Document "Continuing the Dialogue", (Guideline #7, page 94): "We view as contrary to the Baptismal Covenant, and therefore morally unacceptable, sexual behavior which is adulterous, promiscuous, abusive, or exploitative in nature, or which involves children or others incapable of informed, mutual consent and understanding the consequences of such a relationship"; and be it further

Resolved, That as the church continues the discussion of same sex unions, we call upon the House of Bishops and Executive Council to provide additional guidance regarding the theological reasoning, possible liturgical rites, legal jurisdiction for disputes, how to confirm dissolution, guidelines, for application and counseling, recommendations for those who struggle with their sexual identity, recommendations for ordination and benefits, changes that may be required in the Canons or Book of Common Prayer, the church's position towards Bishops and Provinces that may disagree, as well as positions the church should consider on related public advocacy issues; and be it further

Resolved, That all resolutions presented to this convention relating to these sexuality and relationship issues be referred to the House of Bishops and Executive Council for consideration in this process and we request that a preliminary report of findings and recommendations be presented to the church by March of 2002, in order to allow church wide discussion and comment, to be followed by a final report not less than 90 days prior to the 74th General Convention in 2003.

Committee Substitute:

Resolved, the House of Bishops concurring, That the members of the 73rd General Convention intend for this Church to provide a safe and just structure in which all can utilize their gifts and creative energies for mission; and be it further

Resolved, We acknowledge that while the issues of human sexuality are not yet resolved, there are currently couples in the Body of Christ and in this Church who are living in marriage and couples in the Body of Christ and in this Church who are living in other life-long committed relationships; and be it further

Resolved, We expect such relationships will be characterized by fidelity, monogamy, mutual affection and respect, careful, honest communication, and the holy love which enables those in such relationships to see in each other the image of God; and be it further

Resolved, We denounce promiscuity, exploitation, and abusiveness in the relationships of any of our members; and be it further

Resolved, This Church intends to hold all its members accountable to these values, and will provide for them the prayerful support, encouragement, and pastoral care necessary to live faithfully by them; and be it further

Resolved, We acknowledge that some, acting in good conscience, who disagree with the traditional teaching of the Church on human sexuality, will act in contradiction to that position; and be it further

Resolved, That in continuity with previous actions of the General Convention of this Church, and in response to the call for dialogue by the Lambeth Conference, we affirm that those on various sides of controversial issues have a place in the Church, and we reaffirm the imperative to promote conversation between persons of differing experiences and perspectives, while acknowledging the Church's teaching on the sanctity of marriage; and be it further

Resolved, That desiring to support relationships of mutuality and fidelity other than marriage which mediate the grace of God, the 73rd General Convention direct the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music to prepare for consideration by the 74th General Convention rites for inclusion in The Book of Occasional Services by means of which the Church may express that support.

Debate followed on Resolution D039 as substituted.

Deputy Russell of West Tennessee stated that the Clerical and Lay deputations of South Carolina, Central Florida, Southwest Florida, Fort Worth, and San Joaquin called for a vote by orders on the final resolve.

Deputy Patterson of Delaware moved to extend debate by 30 minutes.

Motion defeated

Debate terminated

Deputy Cravens of Springfield moved an amendment to D039 Substitute.

Proposed Amendment:

Delete the final resolve.

Debate followed on the Cravens amendment.

The Chair was about to put the question of the amendment to delete the eighth resolve of D039 Substitute. Deputy Crump of West Tennessee called a Point of Order referencing paragraph six of the Special Order of Business for debate on D039 that states, "the final resolve shall be voted upon after votes on the others."

On the Parliamentarian's advice the Chair ruled that the Point of Order was not well taken and the vote on the amendment to remove the eighth resolve could be taken.

Deputy Crump respectfully appealed the ruling of the Chair.

The question was called on the ruling.

A vote was taken on the ruling.

Appeal upheld

Deputy Newell of Ohio moved to extend debate for 15 minutes.

Motion defeated

Debate terminated

The time designated in the Special Order of Business having expired, a vote was taken on the first seven resolves of Resolution D039 as substituted.

Motion carried

First seven resolves of Resolution D039 adopted

The President called on the Chaplain for prayers before a vote was taken on the eighth resolve of Resolution D039.

The House was called to prayer before voting on Resolution D039, the eighth resolve, by the Chaplain, the Reverend Francis H. Wade:

"Blessed God, we gather before you with our nerve ends exposed; perhaps more aware of our power to hurt than your power to heal. Perhaps more alert to danger to our ideas, souls and friends than to the possibilities of grace. We are keen on conquest, afraid of defeat, eager for compromise, ready to run away, anxious to begin, wanting it to be over all at the same time.

"Lord, is this not what holy ground feels like?

"Raise our hopes to the level of your promises; steel our strength; open our hearts' windows that your Spirit might blow to us, on us, in us, and, if you will, through us.

"Give us pause to feel the thickness of your grace wrapping itself around us. Grant us the faith to know that holy ground is unpredictable, but still the safest place on earth.

"Guide us - and help us to feel guided. In Jesus Christ we Pray."

Ballot #6 was taken on the eighth resolve of Resolution D039.

Ballot #6 taken by orders

The Secretary reported the results on Ballot #6 on the eighth resolve of Resolution D039 (Issues Related to Sexuality and Relationships) as substituted.

Type TotalNecessaryYesNoDividedResults
Lay 10754513917Defeated
Clerical10855553419Carried

The final resolve of Resolution D039 was defeated in the Lay Order and carried in the Clerical Order.

Motion defeated

Eighth resolve of Resolution D039 rejected

(Communicated to the House of Bishops in HD Message #138)

House of Bishops

The House of Bishops Committee on Dispatch of Business moved that the House sit as a Committee of the Whole for one hour, each Bishop to speak once, and amendments allowed after the hour.

Motion carried

The House of Bishops Committee on the Church and Human Sexuality presented its Report #19 on HD Message #138 on Resolution D039 (Issues Related to Sexuality and Relationships) and moved concurrence.

Motion was made to continue the discussion for ten minutes.

Motion carried

The House rose from the Committee of the Whole and entertained amendments for Resolution D039 (Issues Related to Sexuality and Relationships).

The Bishop of Ohio moved to amend the resolution.

Proposed Amendment:

Restore the eighth resolve:

"Resolved, that desiring to support relationships of mutuality and fidelity other than marriage which mediate the grace of God, the 73rd General Convention directs the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music to prepare for consideration by the 74th General Convention rites for inclusion in The Book of Occasional Services by means of which the Church may express that support."

The Bishop of El Camino Real moved to amend the amendment by adding "study and" between "for" and "consideration".

The Bishop of Ohio accepted the motion as a friendly amendment.

The House resumed debate on the proposed amendment to the resolution.

The Bishop of Olympia proposed a substitute for the amendment.

The parliamentarian ruled that the substitute will be taken up after action on the proposed amendment now on the floor.

The Bishop of Rhode Island moved to amend the amendment.

Proposed Amendment:

Delete "for inclusion in The Book of Occasional Services".

The Bishop of Ohio accepted the motion as a friendly amendment.

The question was called.

A vote was taken to terminate debate.

Motion carried

Debate terminated

The Suffragan Bishop of South Carolina and six others requested a Roll Call vote.

The Presiding Bishop asked the chaplains to lead the House in prayer.

Roll Call

63 yes85 no4 abstain

Motion defeated

Amendment defeated

Vote on D039

(Proposed Amendment)

YeaNayAbstain
Bishop Putnam0595x
Bishop Bailey0604x
Bishop Leighton0639x
Bishop Charles0665x
Bishop Parsons0691x
Bishop Wolterstorff0697x
Bishop Cochrane0709x
Bishop Brown0711x
Assistant Bishop of West Virginia0712x
Bishop Warner0717x
Bishop Anderson0722x
Bishop of Southeast Florida0728x
Bishop of Colombia0730x
Bishop of California0732x
Bishop Donovan0748x
Bishop Wantland0750x
Bishop Wolfrum0754x
Bishop of Central Gulf Coast0755x
Bishop of New York0758x
Bishop Coleridge0763x
Bishop Charlton0770x
Bishop Ottley0779x
Bishop Frade0780x
Bishop of Virginia0785x
Bishop of Milwaukee0787x
Assistant Bishop of Texas0789x
Assisting Bishop of Lexington0795x
Bishop of Oregon0801x
Bishop Bartlett0804x
Bishop of New Hampshire0805x
Bishop Swenson 0806x
Bishop Suffragan of Ohio0812x
Bishop of Washington0814x
Assistant Bishop of Virginia0815x
Bishop Tennis0816x
Assistant Bishop of Southern Virginia0817x
Assistant Bishop of New York0819x
Bishop Suffragan of American Churches in Europe0821x
Bishop of Oklahoma0824x
Bishop of Taiwan0825x
Bishop of Long Island0826x
Bishop of Los Angeles0828x
Bishop of Southern Ohio0829x
Bishop of Iowa0830x
Bishop Suffragan of Pennsylvania0831x
Bishop of Michigan0833x
Bishop Suffragan of Massachusetts0834x
Bishop of Western North Carolina0837x
Assistant Bishop of Olympia0838x
Bishop of Central Florida0839x
Bishop of Northwestern Pennsylvania0840x
Bishop of Western Louisiana0842x
Bishop of Olympia0843x
Bishop Sterling0845x
Bishop of Nebraska0846x
Bishop of Western Michigan0847x
Bishop of North Dakota0850x
Bishop of Kansas0851x
Bishop of South Carolina0852x
Bishop of Navajoland Area Mission0853x
Bishop Keyser0854x
Bishop Williams0855x
Bishop of Central Ecuador0856x
Bishop Thornton0857x
Bishop of El Camino Real0858x
Bishop Suffragan of Los Angeles0861x
Bishop of Missouri0863x
Assistant Bishop of Chicago0864x
Bishop Charleston0865x
Bishop of Rochester0866x
Bishop of Northern California0868x
Bishop of Mississippi0869x
Bishop of Dominican Republic0870x
Assisting Bishop of New Jersey0871x
Bishop of Springfield0872x
Bishop of San Diego0874x
Bishop of Arizona0875x
Bishop Suffragan of Washington0876x
Bishop of Dallas0879x
Bishop of Fort Worth0880x
Bishop of Haiti0881x
Bishop of Tennessee0882x
Bishop Matthews0883x
Bishop of Texas0884x
Bishop of Minnesota0885x
Bishop of New Jersey0886x
Bishop of Vermont0887x
Bishop of West Tennessee0888x
Bishop of West Texas0889x
Bishop of Ohio0890x
Bishop of Kentucky0891x
Bishop of Florida0892x
Bishop Johnson0893x
Bishop of Fond Du Lac0894x
Bishop of Arkansas0895x
Bishop of South Dakota0896x
Bishop of Quincy0897x
Bishop of Massachusetts0898x
Bishop Suffragan of Southern Ohio0900x
Bishop of Georgia0901x
Bishop of Upper South Carolina0902x
Bishop Suffragan of Southeast Florida0903x
Bishop of Western Kansas0904x
Assistant Bishop of Alabama0906x
Bishop Suffragan of Virginia0907x
Bishop Suffragan of Texas0908x
Bishop of Maryland0909x
Bishop of Central Pennsylvania0910x
Bishop Suffragan of West Texas0911x
Bishop Suffragan of New York0912x
Bishop of Rhode Island0913x
Bishop of Southwest Florida0914x
Bishop Suffragan of South Carolina0915x
Bishop of Pittsburgh0916x
Bishop of Utah0918x
Bishop of Bethlehem0919x
Bishop Suffragan of North Carolina0920x
Bishop of Eastern Michigan0921x
Bishop of East Carolina0922x
Bishop of Alabama0923x
Bishop of Western Massachusetts0924x
Bishop of Southwestern Virginia0925x
Bishop of Hawaii0926x
Bishop of Pennsylvania0927x
Bishop of Indianapolis0929x
Bishop of Northwest Texas0930x
Bishop of Virgin Islands0931x
Bishop of Southern Virginia0932x
Bishop of Alaska0933x
Bishop of Wyoming0934x
Bishop of Albany0935x
Bishop of Louisiana0936x
Bishop of West Missouri0937x
Bishop of Maine0938x
Bishop Coadjutor of New York0939x
Bishop of Idaho0940x
Bishop of Delaware0941x
Bishop Suffragan of Maryland0942x
Bishop of Newark0943x
Bishop of East Tennessee0944x
Bishop of Chicago0945x
Bishop of Eau Claire0946x
Bishop of Western New York0947x
Bishop of Northern Michigan0948x
Bishop Suffragan of Dallas0949x
Bishop Coadjutor of Michigan0950x
Suffragan for the Armed Services0951x
Bishop of Northern Indiana0952x
Bishop Coadjutor of Los Angeles0953x
Bishop Suffragan of Albany0954x
Bishop of North Carolina0955x
Bishop Coadjutor of Mississippi0956x

House of Deputies

The Secretary read the numbers for Ballot #6 on Resolution D039 (Issues Related to Sexuality and Relationships), final resolve, taken on the Seventh Legislative Day, which had been verbally reported to the Deputies incorrectly. The numbers reported in the minutes for that day were correct.

House of Bishops

The House of Bishops Committee On the Church and Human Sexuality resumed presentation of its Report #19 on Resolution D039 (Issues Related to Sexuality and Relationships) and moved concurrence.

The substitute offered by the Bishop of Olympia was withdrawn.

The Committee on Dispatch of Business moved to limit debate to thirty minutes at 11:26 a.m.

Motion carried

The Bishop Coadjutor of New York moved to call the question.

A vote was taken to terminate debate on the resolution.

Motion carried

Debate terminated

The Bishop of Newark and six others requested a roll call vote.

The Presiding Bishop called the House to prayer before voting.

Roll Call

119 yes19 no4 abstain

The House concurred

(Communicated to the House of Deputies in HB Message #175)

Vote on D039

(to Concur)

YeaNayAbstain
Bishop Putnam0595x
Bishop Gilliam0634x
Bishop Leighton0639x
Bishop Charles 0665x
Bishop Parsons0691x
Bishop Cochrane0709x
Bishop Brown0711x
Assistant Bishop of West Virginia0712x
Bishop Warner0717x
Bishop Anderson0722x
Bishop of Southeast Florida0728x
Bishop of California0732x
Bishop Wantland0750x
Bishop of Central Gulf Coast0755x
Bishop of New York0758x
Bishop Coleridge0763x
Bishop Charlton0770x
Bishop Sorge0775x
Bishop Ottley0779x
Bishop Frade0780x
Bishop of Virginia0785x
Bishop of Milwaukee0787x
Assistant Bishop of Texas0789x
Assisting Bishop of Lexington0795x
Bishop of Oregon0801x
Bishop of New Hampshire0805x
Bishop Swenson0806x
Bishop Suffragan of Ohio0812x
Assistant Bishop of Virginia0815x
Assistant Bishop of Southern Virginia0817x
Assistant Bishop of New York0819x
Bishop Suffragan of American Churches in Europe0821x
Bishop of Oklahoma0824x
Bishop of Taiwan0825x
Bishop of Los Angeles0828x
Bishop of Southern Ohio0829x
Bishop of Iowa0830x
Bishop Suffragan of Pennsylvania0831x
Bishop of Michigan0833x
Bishop Suffragan of Massachusetts0834x
Bishop of Rio Grande0836x
Bishop of Western North Carolina0837x
Assistant Bishop of Olympia0838x
Bishop of Central Florida0839x
Bishop of Northwestern Pennsylvania0840x
Bishop of Western Louisiana0842x
Bishop of Olympia0843x
Bishop Sterling0845x
Bishop of Nebraska0846x
Bishop of Western Michigan0847x
Bishop of North Dakota0850x
Bishop of Kansas0851x
Bishop of South Carolina0852x
Bishop Keyser0854x
Bishop Williams0855x
Bishop of El Camino Real0858x
Bishop of Colorado0860x
Bishop Suffragan of Los Angeles0861x
Bishop of Missouri0863x
Assistant Bishop of Chicago0864x
Bishop Charleston0865x
Bishop of Rochester0866x
Bishop of Northern California0868x
Bishop of Mississippi0869x
Bishop of Dominican Republic0870x
Assisting Bishop of New Jersey0871x
Bishop of Springfield0872x
Bishop of San Diego0874x
Bishop Suffragan of Washington0876x
Bishop of Dallas0879x
Bishop of Fort Worth0880x
Bishop of Haiti0881x
Bishop of Tennessee0882x
Bishop Matthews0883x
Bishop of Texas0884x
Bishop of Minnesota0885x
Bishop of Vermont0887x
Bishop of West Tennessee0888x
Bishop of West Texas0889x
Bishop of Ohio0890x
Bishop of Kentucky0891x
Bishop of Florida0892x
Bishop of Fond Du Lac0894x
Bishop of Arkansas0895x
Bishop of South Dakota0896x
Bishop of Quincy0897x
Bishop of Massachusetts0898x
Bishop Suffragan of Southern Ohio0900x
Bishop of Georgia0901x
Bishop of Upper South Carolina0902x
Bishop Suffragan of Southeast Florida0903x
Bishop of Western Kansas0904x
Assistant Bishop of Alabama0906x
Bishop Suffragan of Virginia0907x
Bishop Suffragan of Texas0908x
Bishop of Maryland0909x
Bishop of Central Pennsylvania0910x
Bishop Suffragan of West Texas0911x
Bishop Suffragan of New York0912x
Bishop of Rhode Island0913x
Bishop of Southwest Florida0914x
Bishop Suffragan of South Carolina0915x
Bishop of Pittsburgh0916x
Bishop of Utah0918x
Bishop of Bethlehem0919x
Bishop Suffragan of North Carolina0920x
Bishop of Eastern Michigan0921x
Bishop of East Carolina0922x
Bishop of Alabama0923x
Bishop of Western Massachusetts0924x
Bishop of Southwestern Virginia0925x
Bishop of Hawaii0926x
Bishop of Pennsylvania0927x
Bishop Suffragan of Long Island0928x
Bishop of Indianapolis0929x
Bishop of Northwest Texas0930x
Bishop of Virgin Islands0931x
Bishop of Southern Virginia0932x
Bishop of Alaska0933x
Bishop of Wyoming0934x
Bishop of Albany0935x
Bishop of Louisiana0936x
Bishop of West Missouri0937x
Bishop of Maine0938x
Bishop Coadjutor of New York0939x
Bishop of Idaho0940x
Bishop of Delaware0941x
Bishop Suffragan of Maryland0942x
Bishop of Newark0943x
Bishop of East Tennessee0944x
Bishop of Chicago0945x
Bishop of Eau Claire0946x
Bishop of Western New York0947x
Bishop of Northern Michigan0948x
Bishop Suffragan of Dallas0949x
Bishop Coadjutor of Michigan0950x
Suffragan for the Armed Services0951x
Bishop of Northern Indiana0952x
Bishop Coadjutor of Los Angeles0953x
Bishop Suffragan of Albany0954x
Bishop of North Carolina0955x
Bishop Coadjutor of Mississippi0956x

Resolution Concurred by Both Houses, July 13.

Abstract:   The 73rd General Convention affirms the variety of human relationships in and outside of marriage and acknowledges disagreement over the Church's traditional teaching on human sexuality.