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Friday, July 17, 2009

The Final Day

Well, it is amazing how much you can get done when you have a deadline. This may be why a shorter convention will work. We were finished before 6 p.m. today. We zipped through an amazing amount of legislation.

According to the secretary, at this convention there were
  • 192 "A" resolutions. These are the resolutions which come from CCAB's, which are official Commissions, Committees and Boards of the church. These are the resolutions which are part of reporst in the Blue Book which is sent out before convention. A link to the Blue Book is here.
  • 32 "B" resolutions. These are resolutions submitted by bishops. They are available online as they come in.
  • 87 "C" resolutions. These are resolutions from diocesan conventions, like ours.
  • 108 "D" resolutions, resolutions submitted by deputies.

361 pieces of legislation were considered at this convention. 91 were "incomplete" which means did not go through both houses and these will go to a standing committee of Executive Council for action during the triennium.

It felt as if we did most of the legislation today at breakneck speed, as the time allotted for speaking on resolutions grew shorter and shorter (through introduction of special rules) and convention committees put more and more of their stuff on the consent calendar.

Then there is this matter of concurrance. As you will remember, just like in congress, a resolution has to pass both houses in the same form in order to "pass." So... last time I mentioned C023 about DOMA, the "Defense of Marriage Act". The House of Deputies passed a strong resolution calling on Episcopalians to work against the introduction of this Act in their states. It "squeaked" through but the House of Bishops was uncomfortable enough with the idea that Episcopalians were being told what to do that they referred it to a committee.

And then there was C061. This was the resolution calling for the addition of "gender identification and gender expression" to the non-discrimination language in the canons. While it passed by a good margin in the House of Deputies, it was clear there were deputies who had no idea what gender identity or gender expression mean. I don't know what happened in the House of Bishops but when they were done they had removed all the specific langauge about non-descrimination (race, age, gender, sexual orientation, marital status etc. and just allowed as how "all" baptised persons should have access to the ordination process (although ordination is not a "right" or "entitlement" no matter who you are.

Well, saying "all are welcome" is the same as saying nothing at all. The House of Deputies thought that the specific language was important. So we did not concur with the bishops' version of things and so the canon will remain unchanged for the coming triennium. Same old non-discrimination language but not specific wording about gender identification or gender expression.

Two interesting things mentioned by the secretary of convention. There were over 1,500 local volunteers at convention (not all full-time or for the whole time, of course.) As of the end of convention, there were 15 pairs of glasses at the lost-and-found.

1 comment:

  1. Glad you deputies didn't concur with the stripped-bare C061.

    Hilarious that folks could lose FIFTEEN pairs of glasses and ... what? ... not notice it? or maybe they couldn't find Lost & Found without them? Delightful tidbit, Lydia.

    ReplyDelete

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