FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Episcopal Diocese of Maine
November 4, 2009
Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Maine, the Rt. Rev. Stephen T. Lane, responds to Question 1 election results
[PORTLAND, Me.] — Bishop Stephen T. Lane has issued the following statement on the passage of Question 1:
“Yesterday, Question 1 provided each of us with the opportunity to exercise our franchise, to express our support for the right of same-gender couples to be afforded the full rights and responsibilities of a civil marriage or to disagree. Yesterday, Mainers chose to disagree.
Many faithful Episcopalians are deeply grieved at this decision. They had hoped that they and their families might enjoy the recognition and protections afforded heterosexual couples. The rejection of the law also feels like rejection of them as persons. I join in their grief that the right of same gender couples to enter into a lifelong, monogamous marriage has been denied. At the same time I know there are other faithful Episcopalians who are thankful about the election results. I understand that this matter has been a matter of conscience for them. Although the question of same-gender civil marriage may be settled in Maine for now, I would remind all Episcopalians both here in Maine and across the wider Church that we will continue the conversation about these issues for years to come.
The Episcopal Church in Maine will continue to offer a warm welcome to all people including those for whom the results of this referendum are disappointing. Especially in this tender time, I offer our assurances to gay and lesbian Mainers that you, your relationships, and your families have our support and blessing.
After Governor Baldacci signed the Marriage Equality law last spring, I began to work on a set of guidelines for our clergy to use with legal same-gender marriage. These guidelines will not be distributed. However, I will continue to work with a small group to consider the ways we may support the faithful, monogamous relationships of faithful gay and lesbian Episcopalians.
Yesterday was a set back to be sure, but we will continue to strive for justice and peace among all people. We are in this for the long haul.
I welcome your comments and your concerns about this development in our life as Mainers and as Episcopalians. Whether you are saddened or thankful, please know that you remain in my prayers.”