The governing body of the Church of England is set to begin discussions about whether or not to allow women to become bishops. All three branches of the General Synod, the House of Bishops, the House of Clergy, and the House of Laity must approve of any decision to allow women bishops by a two-thirds majority. If these branches fail to approve the change, the measure cannot come back before the synod for at least seven years.
Twenty years ago, the Anglican Church first approved that women could be ordained as priests and now women are a third of all clergy in the Church of England. The subject of women bishops was argued earlier this year, but was dismissed over language in an amendment that allowed parishes to request a male bishop who shared their beliefs if they were opposed to women bishops. Since then, the amendment has been rewritten to include slightly less discriminatory language.
Many Anglican traditionalists oppose this change, believing that having women bishops contradicts the theological foundation of the church. Some who support female bishops are against the measure because they feel it is too discriminatory because it still allows parishes to reject female bishops. While it is believed that the traditionalists do not have enough support to block the measure, those in favor of approving the measure are worried that the controversy may prevent the issue from passing.
In a letter by over 1,000 bishops, clergy, and laity that was published in the Independent, they agreed "Just as the Churches have repented of our historic anti-Semitism and endorsement of slavery, so we believe that we must now show clearly that we no longer believe women to be inferior to men."
Media Resources: BBC News 11/19/12; New York Times 11/19/12; Guardian 11/18/12; Independent 11/18/12
8/31/2015 Chicago Activists Continue Hunger Strike to Save Predominately Black Public High School - Chicago residents have entered the second week of their hunger strike protesting the closure of Dyett High School, in the predominately African-American Bronzeville neighborhood located on the South Side of Chicago.
Parents and community members are calling on the Chicago Board of Education to keep Dyett - the only open-enrollment, neighborhood school in its area - open and accept a community plan to revitalize the school with a focus on science and green technology. . . .
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .