Tamika Caston-Miller shared about her marriage and asked about the status of same-sex marriages within the diocese of Texas considering the Supreme Court case pending in the civil realm. Bishop Doyle indicated that when same sex marriages become legal in Texas that the parishes currently authorized for same sex blessings may use the same liturgy for a same-sex marriage. Eventually the Rite can be used for any marriage.
The second issue discussed was trans inclusion. Louis Hight shared his experiences and also brought to light the high numbers of trans murders and the high frequency of suicide by transfolk. Bishop Doyle indicated that Transgender folks have a place in the church and that the diocese is committed to creating safe places to worship and serve. The Bishop indicated that transfolk will be included in the much needed conversation on inclusion and safety. Above all he assured the LGBT community that there is a place in the church for all of us.
Thirdly, Muffie Maroney inquired about deployment of partnered Gay or Lesbian Priests in light of the fact that the Bishop has proposed the elimination of Canon 43 which specifically defines marriage as one man and one woman. The Bishop has indicated that progress has been made and the diocese expects to put Canon 43 behind us at Diocesan Council in 2016. Deployment will soon be a reality. The Bishop also indicated his willingness for more LGBT folks to be appointed to boards and commissions.
During the question and answer portion of the conversation, Bishop Doyle indicated that he would more openly support the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance should it come to a referendum. We ended the afternoon with prayer and a renewed sense of shared ministry. As a Co convener of Integrity Houston, I would like to publicly thank Bishop Doyle, the Integrity food crew and the 50 interested folks who gathered for this historic event. Renewed, Refreshed, and
READY to spread the Gospel ' s message of God's Love for ALL. S Wayne Mathis.