Dear General Convention,
This summer you’re going to consider a lot of important business in Austin, things that will seriously impact the life of our church in the next several years.
But we want you to know there’s some unfinished work leftover from the last convention.
You see, we are faithful Episcopalians in the Diocese of Dallas, but we could not get married in our own churches. Our bishop strictly prohibits same-sex couples from being married in their churches, and neither could our clergy bless our marriages when we were married elsewhere.
We were told to go to Fort Worth or Austin, but we think that’s wrong. We don’t believe that’s what you intended when you overwhelmingly approved marriage rites for same-sex couples at Salt Lake City.
We don’t believe you wanted some faithful Christian couples to remain in the shadow of inequality just because they happen to be members of a church in the wrong diocese.
We want to be sure you know about us, because you are the only ones with the power to do something about it. This summer, we’re asking you to reconsider the resolution you passed in Salt Lake City three years ago. This time, we hope you’ll ensure faithful same-sex couples like us can actually get married in our own churches, and by our own clergy.
If you’re not quite sure how to go about this, here are a few options to consider:
You could choose to remove the requirement for bishop’s approval, so that priests can use the same pastoral discretion in deciding to marry same-sex couples that they do for everyone else.
Or you could require rectors and vestries first be in agreement about this, to ensure our congregations are truly in support of our right to marry.
At the very least you could require all diocesan bishops legitimately provide access to marriage for same-sex couples within the geographic boundaries of their diocese. No more sending us to distant cities and unfamiliar clergy.
However you decide to solve this problem, we hope you won’t be so careful to honor the consciences of some bishops that you actually make it possible for them to completely deny us access to a sacrament. This time, we hope you will finish what you started, and make marriage equality a reality for all faithful Episcopalians, including those of us in Dallas.
Dear General Convention, please don’t forget about us. We’re praying for you, and we’re counting on you.