'Gay' Debate Timeline 1976–2003
[NOTE: At no time in this nearly three decade
"discussion" did there ever occur any description or debate concerning
homosexual behavior. That is criminal neglect of duty by the
so-called "conservative" leadership. If the behavior had been made
known, along with the horrendous consequences, the tide would have turned.
So far as I can tell, even at this late date (January 2004), not a single
conservative leader will stand up and spell out the behavior with its
consequence. We are getting what we deserve. E. Fox]
1976 General Convention (GC) passes a resolution (A068) calling for study
and dialogue on sexuality (including homosexuality).
GC passes a resolution (B101) calling for study of homosexual ordination.
1979 GC passes a resolution (A053) ‘reaffirm(ing) the traditional teaching
of the church on marriage, marital fidelity, and sexual chastity as the
standard of Christian sexual morality.’ Resolution also says that there is no
bar in the ordination process to homosexuals whose lives are ‘wholesome
Twenty bishops respond with a ‘Statement of Conscience’ which said that they
‘cannot accept these recommendations or implement them in our Dioceses.’
1985 GC passes a resolution (D082) calling to ‘dispel myths and prejudices’
1988 GC passes a resolution (D102) calling for the continuation of
consultation and dialogue on questions of human sexuality
1989 Bishop John Shelby Spong ordains Robert Williams, an openly active
1990 September The House of Bishops censures Bishop Spong.
Bishop Walter Righter, Assistant Bishop to Spong, ordains another practicing
homosexual immediately following Spong’s censure.
1991 Bishop William Frey’s canon, which threatened liberationist clergy
with ecclesiastical trials, defeated
1994 GC passes a resolution (D049) calling for the preparation of a report
considering rites for same-sex commitments.
Bishop Spong drafts the Koininia Statement. This states that homosexuality is
morally neutral and supports the ordination of homosexuals in faithful sexual
1996 May 15 Bishop Walter Righter acquitted in an ecclesiastical trial which
declares that Righter had violated ‘no specific Core Doctrine’ when he
ordained an openly homosexual priest in September 1990.
August American Anglican Council incorporated.
1997 February The 2nd Anglican Encounter in the South issues the Kuala Lumpur
Statement on Human Sexuality that takes the Global North to task for the
innovations of ordaining openly homosexual clergy and for blessing same-sex
unions that it said ‘calls into question the authority of the Holy
July General Convention refers the Kuala Lumpur Statement to a committee.
Blessings of same-sex marriages were defeated by only one vote at General
September Fifty conservative bishops and archbishops from 16 countries
release the ‘Dallas Statement’ which affirms the Kuala Lumpur Statement and
declares that scripture ‘provides no justification for the church to ordain
non-celibate homosexuals or bless same sex relationships.’
1998 The Lambeth Conference overwhelmingly passes resolution 1.10, which
declares that ‘homosexual practice as incompatible with Scripture’ and which
states that it cannot ‘advise the legitimizing of same-sex unions nor the
ordination of those involved in such unions.’
2000 General Convention passes D039 on human sexuality that affirms a
legitimate place in the church for non-marital sexual relationships.
2001 October Bishop of Delaware announces to diocesan clergy that he would
allow same-sex blessings in the diocese. Synod of the Diocese of New
Westminster moves forward with the creation of same-sex blessing rites.
2002 March 19 orthodox Episcopal Bishops sign an ‘An Appeal for the
Preservation of Godly Union’ which calls on the Episcopal House of Bishops to
provide for sustained pastoral care in ECUSA.
March In response, the Episcopal House of Bishops issues ‘A Covenant on
Episcopal Pastoral Care’ that says that ‘The provision of supplemental
episcopal pastoral care shall be under the direction of the bishop of the
diocese, who shall invite the visitor and remain in pastoral contact with the
April Anglican Primates issue a ‘Statement of the Anglican Primates on the
Doctrine of God’ which begins by saying ‘In the light of current challenges
to historic Christian doctrine from various quarters, and of the growing
influence of different kinds of ‘post-modern’ theory which question the very
idea of universal and abiding truth, the Primates wish to reaffirm the
commitment of the Anglican Communion to the truths of the fundamental
teachings of the faith we have received from Holy Scripture and the Catholic
July The Rt Rev William E Smalley, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Kansas,
announces his decision to bless ‘non-marital unions.’
September 25 Anglican Consultative Council meets in Hong Kong and passes a
motion urging ‘1. Dioceses and individual bishops not to undertake unilateral
actions or adopt policies that would strain our communion with one another
without reference to their provincial authorities, and 2. Provincial
authorities to have in mind the impact of their decisions within the wider
communion.’ Archbishop Peter Akinola, Primate of Nigeria, releases a
statement in which he suggests the west is pursuing a new ‘cultural
2003 May 23 New Westminster Bishop Michael Ingham issues a same-sex rite for
use in the diocese.
May 26 Anglican Primates issue a statement from Gramado, Brazil stating that
‘there is no theological consensus about same sex unions’ and that ‘we as a
body cannot support the authorisation of such rites.’
May 28 First same-sex blessing rite held in the diocese of New Westminster
in the Anglican Church of Canada. The Most Rev Peter Akinola, Archbishop and
Primate of Nigeria, takes the unprecedented step of ‘breaking’ communion with
the New Westminster Diocese.
The Anglican Communion in New Westminster (ACiNW) formed, which aligns
dissenting New Westminster parishes with the Anglican Communion and against
their dioceses’ actions.
June 7 New Hampshire elects the Rev Canon Vicki Gene Robinson as the first
openly homosexual Bishop in the Anglican Communion.
July 6 Rev. Jeffrey John withdraws his acceptance of the post of Bishop of
Reading, Church of England.
July 18 24 Episcopal Bishops declare impaired communion with New Westminster.
July 23 An assembly of mainstream Anglican Primates, priests and laypeople
issue a statement from Fairfax, Virginia, stating that the confirmation of
Canon Robinson as bishop would ‘separate [the Episcopal Church] from historic
Christian faith and teaching [and] alienate it from the fellowship and
accountability of the worldwide Anglican family’
August 3 The House of Deputies consents to the election of Robinson.
August 5 The House of Bishops consents to the election of Robinson.
August 7 GC passes resolution allowing ‘local option’ for same-sex blessings.
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