On GLBT issues, this year's GA is going to be on the books as a very mixed bag. On the one hand, we got the change to B out of GA and into the Presbyteries; the vote was 53% to 47%, so it barely got through. On the other hand, the only thing to come out of GA on marriage and civil unions were a couple of papers to be sent to our congregations to study, ignoring the clear pleas by our ministers from states where same-sex marriage is legal to give them some sort of guidance to do pastoral care, as well as the pleas from the GLBT community to recognize that our relationships are frequently more committed than straight relationships (I'm looking at you, Limbaugh!). On the future hand, GA as a whole has yet to vote on whether same sex partners of clergy should be included in Board of Pensions considerations or not.
Points to ponder so far:
Why is it that we were able to get really encouraging votes in committee (2 to 1 in favor, people!), but barely squeaked by on the floor when it came to ordination and got totally shut down on marriage and civil unions?
How are we going to get ordination through our presbyteries?
I overheard that this is the first time marriage has come up as an issue at GA; if that is a true statement, why haven't we brought it up before?
Is there any effective way for us to block the manipulations of Robert's Rules of Order that the conservatives used to shut down the marriage and civil unions debate, that we'd be willing to do out of our ethical position?
And those are just a few for starters; there will be more as GA wraps up and all of us have time to process what has gone down. Let us pray for our denomination as we attempt to move haltingly towards full inclusion . . .