Full Legislative History
Resolution Number: 1979-A053
Title: Recommend Guidelines on the Ordination of Homosexuals
Legislative Action Taken: Concurred As Substituted and Amended
Final Text:

Resolved, That the 66th General Convention receive with gratitude and appreciation the Report and Recommendations of its Standing Commission on Human Affairs and Health with special reference to the requested study of the matter of ordination of homosexual persons; and be it further

Resolved, That this General Convention recommend to Bishops, Pastors, Vestries, Commissions on Ministry and Standing Committees, the following considerations as they continue to exercise their proper canonical functions in the selection and approval of persons for ordination:

  1. There are many human conditions, some of them in the area of sexuality, which bear upon a person's suitability for ordination;
  2. Every ordinand is expected to lead a life which is "a wholesome example to all people" (Book of Common Prayer, pp. 517, 532, 544). There should be no barrier to the ordination of qualified persons of either heterosexual or homosexual orientation whose behavior the Church considers wholesome;
  3. We re-affirm the traditional teaching of the Church on marriage, marital fidelity and sexual chastity as the standard of Christian sexual morality. Candidates for ordination are expected to conform to this standard. Therefore, we believe it is not appropriate for this Church to ordain a practicing homosexual, or any person who is engaged in heterosexual relations outside of marriage.
Citation: General Convention, Journal of the General Convention of...The Episcopal Church, Denver, 1979 (New York: General Convention, 1980), p. C-93.