The California Supreme Court decision on the issue of same-sex marriage includes this observation:
While retention of the limitation of marriage to opposite-sex couples is not needed to preserve the rights and benefits of opposite-sex couples, the exclusion of same-sex couples from the designation of marriage works a real and appreciable harm upon same-sex couples and their children.
One would think this to be a simple and obvious fact. Yet the foul cry has already gone up that such a broadening of recognition will in fact have impact upon either those mixed-sex couples already married, or those who might contemplate it. I'm sorry, but this begins to sound a bit like, “I don't want to be part of a(n) _________ that allows _________ to join.” Fill in the blanks as you will. It also begins to sound an awful lot like some couples want “special rights” reserved, rights and privileges that only apply to them and not to other couples. Stay posted as the effort to write these special rights into the California Constitution presses forward.
Meanwhile, it appears that, yes, Virginia, you are not alone in wanting to maintain your diocesan authority and trusteeship (in the name of The Episcopal Church) over Episcopal churches. According to a report from Episcopal Café, a whole slew of other churches (and the other dioceses in the state) have joined those already in the Diocese of Virginia's Friends List. They make a compelling case that state intrusion into the inner workings of any church constitutes an unconstitutional interference with the religious right to order a church according to its own beliefs and doctrines. Again, stay tuned for what is bound to be an important court decision.
Tobias Haller BSG