ENS wrote this:
"The group statement, signed by bishops of the dioceses of Northern California, California, El Camino Real, San Joaquin, Los Angeles and San Diego, said, “We do not believe that marriage of heterosexuals is threatened by same-sex marriage. Rather, the Christian values of monogamy, commitment, love, mutual respect and witness of monogamy are enhanced for all by providing this right to gay and straight alike. Society is strengthened when two people who love each other choose to enter into marriage, engaged in a lifetime of disciplined relationship building that serves as a witness to the importance of love and commitment.”
The bishops acknowledged that the Church is not of one mind on the blessing of same-sex unions, but said they are “adamant that justice demands that same-sex civil marriage continue in our state,” and noted that a resolution passed at the 2006 General Convention opposed any civil initiative that would make same-sex marriage unconstitutional on a state or national level."
In the Episcopal Church there may be people of different opinions on blessing same-sex unions, and even difference of opinion concerning positive action to enact same-sex marriage legislation, but at the same time there can be one mind in opposing "civil initiative that would make same-sex marriage unconstitutional on a state or national level." The matter deserves to be determined by engagement with the issues, not by constitutional denial.
More, I believe the bishops are right, the virtues of the commitments of marriage are supported by commitments by others to the same values. When I used to officiate at marriages I would usually strike the word "married" from the petition, "Grant that all married persons who have witnessed these vows may find their lives strengthened and their loyalties confirmed." The witnessing of the vows ought to strengthen all our lives and loyalties.
Believing that the Church and State have both been in a confused muddle as to just what is going on in the marriage service I have for the last seven years asked to be relieved from exercising that particular ministerial function.
I have come to believe we must separate civil and religious action by having a civil marriage and church blessing. Maybe soon it will be that way in the US and we can separate church and state on this one. The statement by the bishops is a positive witness to the possibility of supporting civil marriage without compromising religious values, and indeed finding ways in which the one support the other.
The statement by the California 6 makes me proud to be an Episcopalian in a week where I have been mostly depressed about the Church.
Thanks to the California 6, to Susan and to Bishop Jon.