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Oasis Rejects Primates' Call for Moratorium, Discrimination

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    From Oasis/California Oasis Rejects Primates Call for Moratorium, Discrimination February 28, 2005 SAN FRANCISCO, CA: Episcopalians across the Diocese of
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 1, 2005
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      From Oasis/California

      Oasis Rejects Primates' Call for Moratorium, Discrimination
      February 28, 2005

      SAN FRANCISCO, CA: Episcopalians across the Diocese of California
      have rejected a "moratorium on public Rites of Blessing for Same-sex
      unions and on the consecration of any bishop living in a sexual
      relationship outside Christian marriage" requested by leaders of the
      Anglican Communion.

      "It is the long-standing practice of our diocese to celebrate
      experimental rites blessing same-sex unions and to reject
      discrimination against gay or lesbian clergy," Oasis President the
      Rev. John Kirkley said. "We will not be forced to the back of the
      proverbial church bus. Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people
      continue to be welcomed as full members at Oasis congregations across
      the Diocese of California. Nor will we accept discrimination against
      qualified lesbian and gay clergy during the process of selecting our
      next Bishop."

      The moratorium ­ requested by 35 Anglican Primates after a meeting
      in Ireland ­ prompted a sharp rebuttal from Oasis, the Gay,
      Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Ministry of the Episcopal Diocese
      of California

      "We utterly reject the notion of a moratorium on the blessing of
      same-sex unions as incompatible with our experience of the presence of
      the Holy Spirit in the lives of same-sex couples, the biblical command
      to love God and neighbor, and our baptismal promise to respect the
      dignity of every human being," the Oasis Board stated in responding to
      the Anglican Primates' Communiqué.

      "For more than 25 years, our Diocesan Convention has repeatedly called
      for development of an authorized diocesan rite for the blessing of
      same-sex unions," they stated. "The mind of the diocese on this matter
      has been expressed clearly by its clergy and lay leadership meeting in
      Convention."

      "We are mindful that our bishop has announced his retirement and
      called for the election of his successor," the Oasis Board continued.
      "We support the Diocesan Standing Committee's commitment to follow the
      procedure for an episcopal election as set forth in church law, and
      its refusal to discriminate against any qualified clergy who might be
      nominated in the course of the search process."

      "Since 1978, the bishops of the Anglican Communion have pledged to
      listen to the experience of gay and lesbian Christians, but have thus
      far failed to do so on a Communion-wide basis. It remains to be seen
      how such a process can be fruitful, given that the Primates have also
      requested that the two Provinces that have engaged most fully in this
      listening process (the Episcopal Church in the U.S.A. and the Anglican
      Church of Canada) withdraw from participation in the Anglican
      Consultative Council until the Lambeth Conference of Bishops in 2008,"
      Oasis continued. "We pray that the Executive Council of the Episcopal
      Church and our General Convention meeting next year will carefully
      consider the justice of this recommendation."

      "We acknowledge that the current crisis in the Anglican Communion
      regarding these issues is painful to many of the members of our
      diocese. We lament the vilification of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and
      transgender people on the part of some in the Anglican Communion, and
      call the Church to repentance for its ambivalence regarding the human
      dignity and sacramental equality of all God's children. We will
      continue to advocate for the full inclusion of gay, lesbian, bisexual,
      and transgender people in church and society, and support
      congregations working to heal the divisions caused by heterosexism in
      our diocese and world-wide Communion," the Board concluded.

      The full text of the Oasis Statement is available at
      http://www.oasiscalifornia.org/ and a list of Episcopal churches that
      welcome Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender is found at
      http://www.oasiscalifornia.org/list.html .

      Oasis/California
      The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender
      Ministry of the Episcopal Diocese of California

      Celebrating God's Presence in Glbt Life and
      Advocating Justice for Glbt People
      http://www.oasiscalifornia.org For More Information
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