Tuesday, May 26, 2009

IMRU Radio commentary May 25,2009 from Terry Garay

Terry Garay's commentary aired on IMRU Monday MAy 25, 2009 

"My two cents"

For the past few months, there’s been all sorts of speculation, and in recent weeks, the rumors have been flying, but now, at long last, it’s official: Tomorrow morning, the California Supreme Court is expected to issue its ruling on the future of Proposition 8.


 For those of you who don’t know, Prop 8 is that mean-spirited constitutional amendment that takes away the right to marry for same sex couples in California.  Passed by a slim margin in November of last year, it limits marriage to a man and a woman. 

If it’s ruled invalid, same sex couples will once again be able to marry here in the state.  And the unions of the 18,000 gay and lesbian couples who were able to marry for a brief period last year will not be affected.

 If Prop 8 is upheld, however, then a ruling will also be issued regarding the future of those existing same sex marriages.  And, yes, they could be ruled invalid.

 Shortly after the arguments were made to the court in March, I went out on a limb and predicted we might get a split decision – Prop 8 would be upheld, bad for us, but the 18,000 same sex marriages would also be upheld, no doubt upsetting for our opponents.  We’ll see what actually happens. 

 So how am I feeling tonight?  Like a kid on Christmas Eve – not quite sure what’s under the tree in those boxes, but very excited.

 The way I see it, whatever happens, good or bad, tomorrow we begin another chapter in LGBT history.  We’re moving forward, and that beats being stalled in limbo any day.

 If we made our case and the court happens to rule in our favor, I think we owe it to ourselves to maintain the momentum the LGBT community has been able to build up over the past few months.  Not since the early days of the AIDS and HIV epidemic have I seen so many different types of people working together toward a common goal.  From LGBTQ youth, to the people of color communities, to the gay bourgeoisie, it seems everyone’s on board! 


Unfortunately, even if the court rules in our favor, the celebration will probably be shortlived.  Our enemies, the conservatives and the hate-mongers, won’t give up that easily and we will soon find ourselves under attack again.

 If we lose, it’s almost simpler, because then we just battle on!  And I think we should! Short of violence, we should take advantage of every opportunity available to us - civic action, demonstrations, disobedience, recalls of the judges, economic strikes – or as one militant from history once put it, by any means necessary.

 Truth is I don’t know if I’ll be sleeping tonight, but I’ve already got my bedtime prayer laying on my nightstand. 

Tonight I lay me down to sleep. 

 I pray the court will do right by me.

 I don’t want to live as a second class citizen anymore. 

 I demand the right to marry

that same sex person I adore.

 I’m living for the day when LGBT people will find acceptance at every turn,

rather than a sometimes cruel world

that preaches hate,

and homophobia,


as the good word.

 Tonight I also pray for the continued well being

of all the people who have sacrificed

and given of their lives

in the fight for our civil rights.

From the attorneys,

to the plaintiffs,

to the volunteers,

and the campaign organizers.

 We cannot thank them enough.

So this is my prayer for the 25th of May

in the year 2009.

 May I someday look back, lord,

and remember this night

as the eve of a new day

when marriage

for us

was finally

in sight.




I’m Terry Garay, and for what it’s worth, that’s my two cents.


Saturday, May 16, 2009

Dear Family and Friends,

This summer I will have the awesome opportunity to work at the Integrity Booth (Integrity is an organization for LGBT Episcopalians founded by Dr. Louie Crew) at the General Convention of the Episcopal Church that happens every three years. This will take place right here in our own back yard at the Anaheim Convention Center.

 What is General Convention? Here’s a quote…

"General Convention deals with matters pertaining to the ministry and worship of the Episcopal Church. It is the only body that can establish policy for the entire church. It consists of the House of Deputies and the House of Bishops”...

 So it's like the President, the Senate and the House of Representatives all meeting is one place for 2 weeks. At least that’s the way I look at it.

And why is this important to me? Well, to put it simply, the lie that has been told that gay people, homosexuals, queer people or  whatever name you choose are not loved by God started in the church. So I think this is where the lie has to be debunked and destroyed in this lifetime and forever. Some of you know that part of my life story is my work as a missionary and how I was perceived to be gay when I did not even understand what that meant. Only that the church taught that it was condemned by God. When I realized for myself that I was gay after I resigned as a missionary, my soul searching led me to decide that I had to choose going to church or  to be myself and  go to hell. I choose the latter and did not attend any church for almost 20 years until September 11, 2001 when I felt I needed to be in a community of faith. A friend told me about All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena. I had no knowledge about the Episcopal Church, the Anglican Church or its history. Of course not all Anglican/Episcopal churches are the same. You may have read some recent news reports about how some Episcopal churches have chosen to break away from the Episcopal Church in the USA and to align themselves with a more conservative leadership in Africa and South America. Why? There are various reasons. One that is usually stated loud and clear is because Rev. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire was elected by a clear majority to be the Bishop of New Hampshire. This made world news because he is openly gay. Emphasis on the word openly. He is not the only gay bishop in the Episcopal Church. He is the only openly gay bishop. But why all the fuss about being gay as if that qualifies us for anything special?  

 What about the focus on his exemplary work? Not a word. Not even from the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams. When are we going to talk about the work and ministry of Bishop V. Gene Robinson?

A little more background about those who are anti-gay is that usually they are also opposed to women priests and Bishops. So these attitudes are  similar to those in our  general culture.

Back to Bishop Robinson…. because of his election six years ago here’s what happened…” during General Convention 2006, resolutions to implement moratoria on additional LGBT bishops and rites for blessing same-gender relationships failed due to Integrity’s advocacy.  However on the last day of convention, outgoing Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold used highly unusual parliamentary tactics to force a vote on resolution B033-which called upon “standing committees and bishops with jurisdiction to exercise restraint by not consenting to the consecration of any candidate to the episcopate whose manner of life presents a challenge to the wider church and will leads to further stains on communion”.

 To everyone present it was clear that manner of life was code for “gay and lesbian persons with same –gender domestic partners.

Incoming Presiding Bishop Katherine Jefferts Shori (this is the first time a woman Bishop was elected to be the presiding Bishop (over the USA)  expressed her reluctant support for the resolution B033 as did a few LGBT deputies.

 Even though B033 violates the nondiscrimination provisions of the national canons, it has effectively prevented any qualified LGBT candidates from being elected, confirmed, and consecrated as bishops within the Episcopal Church.

Integrity USA believes that the Episcopal Church is on the tipping point of becoming unequivocally welcoming and affirming of LGBT people.

General Convention 2009 is a decisive opportunity for the Episcopal Church to move beyond the de facto moratorium on additional LGBT bishops and forward on the blessing of same-gender relationships. Our legislative agenda for this General Convention is clear and simple-to pass a resolution that will effectively nullify the effects of B033 and to pass a resolution that will significantly advance rites for blessing same gender relationships. Integrity’s field organizer and inclusive activities have been working for over a year to accomplish this end by electing LGBT and LGBT-friendly deputies and by submitting LGBT positive resolutions to diocesan conventions

Given the magnitude and significance of this work as I believe it parallels what is going on in our political lives as well and that it has an influence whether directly or indirectly on our political and social gains in our contemporary society and culture. This work is no less important than any of the current political actions that we are working on here in California and in other States or around the world. Finally, I am aware and understand with my heart and mind that I am created and loved by God/Higher Power/Great Spirit any name you choose to express the Spirit of Love and that every individual is loved as well.

I will have the opportunity to work with the Booth Team. We will be available to answer any questions anyone might have, share our stories, we will have DVD’s that have been specifically created to tell our stories which you can also see on youtube. Since I have traveled and lived in Latin America, hopefully I will be able to use my experience and Spanish language as we will have visitors from all over the world.


I f you would like to visit the convention, a vast exhibit hall will be open daily to visitors." An anticipated 9-10,000 people will be in attendance.Let me know and I will find out how or what needs to be done so you can visit. 

If you would like to make a donation to Integrity you can do it directly on the website. We are extra aware that we are living in strict economic times.Any amount will be gratefully appreciated. If you can make a donation let me know because I don’t have access to donor info but I would like to acknowledge you personally. Thanks for taking time to read this letter and I’m grateful that you are a part of my world and life path.



Here are some links to additional information


Please visit the Integrity USA website at www.integrityusa.org/ 

 go to the button that says OTHER RESOURCES 

choose print material and then click on...

Toward a Full and Equal Claim: A Brief History of LGBT Issues in the Episcopal Church

This will give you a complete picture of how important this is not only to the Episcopal Church but to our current social and political and spiritual lives. 

Media Hub to provide look at General Convention 2009
[Episcopal News Service] The Episcopal Church's triennial General
Convention, to be held July 8-17 in Anaheim, California, may be
experienced on-site and remotely due to an innovative Internet feature
called the Media Hub. Produced by the office of communication, the Media Hub will include videos, blogging, short Twitter feeds, Flickr photos and live
webcasting to deliver the full story of the event.


AllTheSacraments100pxWide.jpgThis issue focuses on Integrity’s preparations for General Convention. In an effort to decrease our costs and minimize are carbon footprint, this newsletter is now only being distributed electronically to those members who have provided us with an email address.  Those members who have not provided us with an email address will still receive a paper copy.

Disbursing The Dark Cloud Of B033

The Rev. Susan Russell, President
president@integrityusa.org | 626-583-2741

SR.jpgAs we move toward General Convention 2009 and look beyond to the mission and ministry we have the capacity to accomplish in the Episcopal Church, it becomes increasingly clear that undoing the damage done by B033 is a primary objective. 

This discriminatory resolution—passed in an emotional vortex under the shadow of the threats to exclude American bishops from the 2008 Lambeth Conference—continues to have a chilling effect. Its influence is much wider than those dioceses seeking new Episcopal leadership and those LGBT baptized who are called to the episcopate. 

It is a dark cloud hanging over all aspects of our mission and ministry as it focuses our attention on excluding a percentage of the baptized from a percentage of the sacraments rather than calling ALL members of the Body of Christ fully into the work and witness of the Gospel. 
It is time for it to go. There are many strong leaders working long and hard to make that happen and—in the end—I am confident that we will move beyond B033 in Anaheim. But it won’t happen unless we make it happen.

Our challenge in 2009 is less about organized resistance and more about generalized anxiety. And the tipping point—I am convinced—will be persuading bishops who want to do the right thing but are afraid to do it now, to move out of what Henri Nouwen called “the house of fear” and into the house of love—and inclusion.

Here’s a page out of the history books to make my point. It is the story of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s meeting with 1930’s labor and civil rights leader A. Philip Randolph—a meeting where Randolph spoke eloquently about his thoughts and dreams for the end of discrimination and the full inclusion of ALL Americans into their rights and responsibilities as American citizens.

At the end of it
Roosevelt said to him, "You know, Mr. Randolph, I've heard everything you've said tonight, and I couldn't agree with you more. And as President of the United States I do have the capacity to be able to right many of these wrongs and to use my power and the bully pulpit."

Roosevelt concluded, "But there is one thing I would ask of you, Mr. Randolph, and that is that you go out and make me do it."

Our job is to go to Anaheim and make our bishops do what they know they need to do—and that work starts NOW. Many of our bishops “couldn’t agree with us more” —and what they are waiting for is for us to go out and make them do it.

They are waiting for the groundswell of advocacy they cannot ignore from their diocese telling them the cost of justice delayed is too high to pay—that the mission and ministry of this church is too important to continue to be held hostage by the bias and bigotry of those who would exclude the LGBT baptized from the full and equal claim the church has been promising them since 1976.

It starts by talking not just to your bishop but to your deputies. It starts by getting your friends and allies to do the same. It starts by building a broad ranging coalition of folks across this church who will make their voices heard and give their bishops what they need to do the right thing. Watch the “Marching to Anaheim” video athttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KNYUu2feet4. Give to the Anaheim Appeal atwww.integrityusa.org/donate Talk to your bishops and deputies.  And most of all, pray for the renewal and mission of the Episcopal Church.Teach us in all things to seek first God's honor and glory. Guide us to perceive what is right, and grant us both the courage to pursue it and the grace to accomplish it; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen. 

another related video:

Yours truly,