June 25, 2006

Parliamentary Procedures

An article in the on-line Living Church describes the various actions surrounding A161 and the more Windsor-complian substitute. In so doing it somewhat confuses the procedural challenge that I offered after the chair ruled the second resolve of the substitute was in order. My constitutional objection was to the language of the second resolbe: "Resolved that the 75th GC effect a moratorium on the authorizing of all public rites of blessing of same sex unions (WR 144)," which is not the language reported in the TLC article: "that this General Convention not proceed to develop or authorize Rites for the Blessing of same-sex unions at this time." That language would have been in order, as it referred to the General Convention choosing not to do something. But that is not the language the substitute proposed.

My point, eventually upheld by the chair, is that the GC cannot "effect a moratorium" on such matters by resolution, since this is a Constitutional issue: Article X and the BCP itself give bishops the right to authorize liturgies not provided for in the BCP. Had the language of the substitute used the word "recommend" rather than "effect" it would have been entirely in order.

—Tobias S Haller BSG

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