We are the LGBTQ+ Caucus of the Episcopal Church.
Our purpose is simple: to mobilize and advocate for the full inclusion of LGBTQ people in the work and witness of the Episcopal Church.
Convened in 2021 in preparation for the July 2022 80th General Convention of the Episcopal Church, the Caucus is made up of Deputies to General Convention — in collaboration with grassroots LGBTQ leaders around the church — and focused on advancing a legislative agenda supporting:
- The fuller inclusion of LGBTQ people in the Episcopal Church,
- The witness of TEC to oppose discrimination and oppression of LGBTQ people in the wider church and the world and
- The election of LGBTQ people and allies to leadership positions in TEC.
Our first meeting was held on November 20, 2021 and introduced with these words of welcome by Caucus co-convener the Reverend Charles Graves IV:
In June of this year there was an ENS (Episcopal News Service) article asking the question about where the next frontiers for the LGBTQ movement within TEC may be. Following that article, several deputies and Executive Council members began some conversations about how to build energy and move forward as a group, particularly organizing LGBTQ deputies and alternates moving toward General Convention 80 next year. In reaching out to the President of the House of Deputies’ office it became clear that no group was engaged in doing that work on a churchwide scale for 2022. So President Jennings appointed myself and Deputy Jon Rania of Delaware to be the recipients and coordinators of the list of LGBTQ+ deputies and alternates interested in caucusing together.
Many thanks to each of you who identified yourselves on that survey. We also sent surveys asking each of you what ideas you have, and you provided more than 30 excellent suggestions that you will soon see again in your groups. Jon and I began to pull together a small planning team.
Together, we are engaged in building a new LGBTQ+ Caucus for General Convention 80 in Baltimore. So far more than 115 deputies and alternates have signed on to be members of this Caucus. Our purpose is simple: to, mobilize and advocate for the full inclusion of LGBTQ people in the work and witness of the Episcopal Church.
We are the new wine skin for the new wine of an LGBTQ Caucus made up of Deputies to General Convention in collaboration with grassroots LGBTQ leaders around the church focused on advancing a legislative agenda supporting [a] the fuller inclusion of LGBTQ people in the Episcopal Church, [b] the witness of TEC to oppose discrimination and oppression of LGBTQ people in the wider church and the world and [c] supporting the election of LGBTQ people and allies to leadership positions in TEC.
We are here to be forward-looking and to move forward together, especially up to and throughout the 80th General Convention. Our focus right now is not on building a permanent organization. There will certainly be time for that conversation after next July. Right now, we have 228 days from today – 7 ½ months until the start of General Convention to work together to help improve the lives of our people in every diocese of this church and beyond, and we look forward to joining each one of you along the way.
Caucus Planning Team:
Charles Graves IV