Top Episcopal leadership speaks out against the edict.
Bishop William Love of Albany, New York's Episcopal Church has issued a stern directive prohibiting gay marriages to take place in his diocese , claiming those who support same-sex marriage within the church have become victims of the devil's deception. This stance is in direct conflict with the stance taken by the larger Episcopal leadership which has increasingly welcomed LGBTQ Christians.
The directive sent by the bishop instructs his diocese priests to not pay heed to a resolution passed in the church allowing gay and lesbian members to get married within their home churches. This can be done even if the local bishop forbids such unions. According to Love, not only the Episcopal Church but also western society is currently being taken over by what he terms the "Gay Rights Agenda." In his statement, he warns the reader that gay rights activists are excellently organized and powerful. They are also excellently financed.
This move by Bishop Love pits him squarely against the Episcopalian church's adopted resolution. His autonomy and interests could initiate another stand-off between church members who hold conservative views concerning marriage and the progressive Christian majority of the church.
Bishop Love justifies his decision by saying his stance comes from the spirit of love. He asked the Episcopal church leadership and fellow bishops to reconsider their chosen path when it comes to same-sex marriages. He then claimed he forbid his priests to preside over same-sex marriages not due to homophobia, mean-spiritedness, bigotry, or hate, but due to love.
This Episcopal bishop in Albany wants to keep banning same-sex marriage in his diocese.
Sorry, man, but you don't get to claim you still love queer people when you're using phrases like "Satan is having a heyday." https://t.co/GT9rJj4Gwz
— Zack Ford (@ZackFord) November 13, 2018
Bishop Love's anti-church statement has already attracted the ire of the top Episcopalian Church leadership. The top leader of the church, Bishop Michael Curry, issued a response statement on November 12, saying that his denomination is completely committed to full inclusion of LGBTQ Christians. He added the church also respects the conscience of individuals who are against marriage equality. He assured him progressive members of the Episcopal Church will determine the implications of this situation and take the necessary action.
Progressive members of the Episcopal Church are also displeased with Bishop Love's statements and actions. Reverend Jennifer Adams is one of them. She co-convenes the Chicago Consultation group that strives towards the inclusion of LGBTQ people in the Episcopal Church. She alleged that Love uses “dangerous” language which will compel a number of LGBTQ Christians to exit the fold.