From Columbus: Bishops discuss civil rights, reconciliation and Windsor resolutions

June 16, 2006

The House of Bishops considered several resolutions June 16 that touched on civil rights from several perspectives

Resolution C010 asks that states which prohibit domestic partnerships not be considered for future General Conventions. Several bishops expressed concern about the resolution, pointing out that Ohio, where the 75th General Convention is being held, would be included in that prohibition. With a vote of 82-71, the bishops passed an amended version of C010, changing its language from "directing" to "suggesting" such sites not be proposed for future Conventions.

Resolution A095 asks Convention to reaffirm "historical support of gay and lesbian persons as children of God and entitled to full civil rights" by the church. After discussion, the resolution was adopted

Resolution A123 addressed slavery and racial reconciliation; it was adopted by the house. Bishop John L. Rabb, bishop suffragan of Maryland, said it is "essential for us to have true reconciliation and atonement for all our people."

Bishop Dorsey Henderson of Upper South Carolina, co-chair of the Special Committee on the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion, introduced resolutions A165 and A159 to his colleagues..

A165 calls for the Episcopal Church's commitment to the "Windsor Process," a process of discernment as to the nature and unity of the Church. In response to concerns about language which had been deleted from the resolution, committee member Bishop Edward Little of Northern Indiana said the committee chose to shorten the resolution in the interest of "clarity and simplicity…to make it clear that we will join wholeheartedly in the process." The resolution was adopted with amendment.

A159, which had already been adopted by the House of Deputies, calls for "commitment to interdependence in the Anglican Communion." A proposed amendment which would have deleted specific reference to "inter-Anglican consultation and participation" on standing commissions of the Episcopal Church was defeated, although another amendment adding some language to the resolution was carried. The bishops voted to concur with amendment; the amended resolution now returns to the House of Deputies for consideration.

The bishops were informed that the House of Deputies did not concur with resolution A085, which would have removed the text from Article II.2 of the Constitution requiring the House of Deputies to consent to bishop elections that take place within three months of Convention.

For a complete list of legislation being considered by the 75th General Convention, visit