News for Week Ending 6/9/2014
Canada gets new indigenous diocese, bishopThe Anglican Church of Canada (ACC) created a new diocese on June 1, 2014. According to the ACC, the creation of the Indigenous Spiritual Ministry of Mishamikoweesh “marks a major milestone in the journey of establishing of a self-determining, self-sustaining Indigenous church within the Anglican Church of Canada.” Anglican Journal reported June 6 that the first bishop of the new diocese, Lydia Mamakwa, was installed on June 4 in Kingfisher Lake, Ontario.
Same-sex marriage litigation moves through courtsThe U.S. Supreme Court June 4, 2014, rejected without explanation a request by the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) to halt the issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples in Oregon while that group asks the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn a court finding that the Oregon ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. U.S. District Judge Michael McShane ruled against the state’s ban on May 19. Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum did not defend the ban and is opposing the NOM appeal to the Ninth Circuit. AP covered the story, as did SCOTUSblog.
On June 6, according to CNN, U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb declared Wisconsin’s same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional. Although many marriage licenses were issued following the decision, Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen appealed to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals June 9 to stop the issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples, but, according to the Chicago Tribune, the move by Van Hollen was rejected.
Commentator Sally Kohn has posted a brief history of the push for marriage equality titled “Marriage equality is unstoppable.”
In Pennsylvania, Federal District Judge John Jones III discussed his decision striking down the state’s same-sex marriage ban on a WITF-FM talk show. In response to a question about Roman Catholic Bishop David Zubik’s suggestion that the judge’s decision will have a negative effect on the strength of families, Jones asserted that no evidence was presented suggesting that was true. The AP reported on the interview, as did WITF on its Web site. The program can be heard here. (The response to the Zubik quote can be found on segment C at about 6 minutes, 50 seconds in.)
S.C. case to be argued July 7According to a May 31, 2014, report from South Carolina Episcopalians, S.C. Circuit Court Judge Diane Schafer Goodstein has told attorneys that the litigation between Episcopalians and former Episcopalians of the Diocese of South Carolina will return to her courtroom July 7 “ready or not.” (See Pittsburgh Update story here.) It is anticipated that whatever the outcome in the circuit court, the losing side will appeal.
A June 8 post by South Carolina Episcopalians provides a useful status report on the litigation as the trial date nears.
New petition launched to stifle Episcopal lawsuitsVirtueOnline reported June 9, 2014, that Bradley Hutt and “Laymen of the Church” have created an on-line petition targeted at the church’s Executive Council. The petition is titled “End the Madness of Christians suing [sic] Christians.” The text of the petition says, in part, that signers “call upon the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church to end the persecution of Christians and immediately seek a peaceful solution with an Accord agreeable to all parties.” The petition does not address the fact that some of the litigation in which The Episcopal Church is involved was initiated by parties who left the church and took church property with them.
According to Anglican Ink, Maryland resident Bradley Hutt is a trustee of the American Anglican Fellowship (AAF), a conservative group that earlier this year requested that its charges against Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori be investigated. (See Pittsburgh Update story here.) The AAF appears to have neither a Web site nor a Facebook page.