Monday, October 24, 2005

Maine Episcopalians back gay rights

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From the Bangor Daily News (Maine): Church backs rights for gays Monday, October 24, 2005 - Bangor Daily News Shield of the Episcopal Church in the United States of AmericaBANGOR - Episcopalians on Friday overwhelmingly endorsed equal rights for gays and lesbians at the their annual convention held at the Bangor Civic Center, but stopped short of urging residents to vote no on Question 1 on Nov. 8. The original language of the resolution, which included calling "upon all citizens to vote no this November 8th on Proposition #1," could have affected the tax-exempt status of the Diocese of Maine. "Our chancellor pointed out that by urging people to vote one way or the other, we were functioning as a [political action committee]," said Heidi Shott, communications officer for the diocese. "So the resolution was amended." Question 1 on the ballot will read: "Do you want to reject the new law that would protect people from discrimination in employment, housing, education, public accommodations and credit based on their sexual orientation?" A controversy over homosexuality has divided the Anglican Communion, of which the Episcopal Church in the United States is a part, for more than two years. The dispute was ignited two years ago when V. Gene Robinson was elected by the New Hampshire diocese as the first openly gay bishop in the world. Maine Bishop Chilton Knudsen spoke Friday of the controversy in her convention address. "I want to tell you that there isn't a doubt in the world that it is a tense time in the Anglican Communion," she said. "It's been tense before, and it will be tense again. We are promised not unanimity of opinion but the grace of God to struggle to live in the tension of differences." To read the full article visit: