There’s one major change I noticed in the open committee discussion of B033 that happened yesterday on the floor of the House of Deputies. Only one of the 30 or so people who spoke even came close to arguing that same-sex relationships were fundamentaly wrong and even that person insisted on saying the behavior didn’t trump his love for his lesbian daughter.
That’s different from the way the conversations were happening in 1997,2003 and 2006 (the other General Conventions that I’ve attended). In those, there were always more than a few strong voices who would loudly proclaim the either orientation (or just behavior) were fundamentally wrong. This year the one third or so of the voices who were arguing for B033 almost all implied that it would be going away.
Now granted, the way that the voices were chosen to speak yesterday meant that they were a great deal more random than they have been before and they may not represent a totally accurate representation of where we are as a body, I was struck by this observation.
We’re no longer arguing “if”, we’re discussing “when”. We are now working on tactics not strategy.
Most of that can attributed to a number of folks either leaving the Episcopal Church, or deciding to stay away from Convention this year, but still…
Convention seems to me to be the best way we have of gauging the broad opinion spectrum in the Episcopal Church. So it’s worth thinking through what this shift implies.
Now, the other interesting thing is that the two-thirds or so of those who spoke for changing the official stance of the Episcopal Church seemed to be implying different actions as their suggested course.
Maybe half called for the outright repeal of B033. The others called to move “beyond” it. It’s the “move beyond” details that seems to be the question in the House of Deputies at General Convention right now.
Still no sense of where the House of Bishops is standing in all this.
The first sort of bellwether vote is coming for them on language that would guide the language and support for trans-gendered people in the ordination process. The committee that voted it to move forward to the legislative houses was deeply divided. The bishops were apparently unanimous in opposition. I think it comes for a vote in their House sometime today or tomorrow…