News for Week Ending 12/3/2012
Uganda anti-gay bill slated for passage before ChristmasAccording to the Associated Press, Ugandan parliamentarian David Bahati said November 30, 2012, that a new anti-gay bill, with severe penalties but without a death penalty, is likely to be passed by Christmas. The content of the new bill has not be released. It was Bahati who first introduced an anti-homosexuality bill in the Ugandan parliament that has been widely criticized by church and government leaders outside Uganda. Passage of earlier versions of the bill has been urged by religious leaders within Uganda, however. (See Pittsburgh Update story here.) The AP story has been published in The Washington Post and elsewhere.
CoE women bishops legislation to be revisited soonThe Church of England’s Archbishops Council, a group of 19 people who act as the standing committee of the General Synod, issued a press release November 28, 2012, stating that it had “decided that a process to admit women to the episcopate needed to be restarted at the next meeting of the General Synod in July 2013.” The failure to adopt the measure that would have provided for women bishops in the Church of England has been widely criticized both from within the church and outside of it. It has even caused some to raise once again the prospect of disestablishment. (See, for example, a recent essay published by Ekklesia.)
The next day, a letter appeared in The Times from eight laypersons who had voted against the legislation, asserting that their vote (and that of several others) was not indicative of their opposition to women bishops but to a perception that the legislation provided insufficient provisions for those who are opposed. The letter is behind the newspaper’s pay wall, but excepts are available from Thinking Anglicans.
On December 1, the Bristol Diocesan Synod passed a resolution of no confidence in the General Synod as a result of its failure to adopt the women bishops measure. On the same day, it was reported that members of the House of Laity have gathered enough signatures to call an emergency meeting of the body that could oust the House of Laity Chair, Dr. Philip Giddings, who spoke forcefully against passage of the legislation. Thinking Anglicans has suggested that the meeting will take place in January.