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Volume 2000-4

INTEGRATOR, the newsletter of Integrity/Toronto
copyright 2001 Integrity/Toronto.
The hard-copy version of this newsletter carries the ISSN 0843-574X

Integrity/Toronto Box 873 Stn F Toronto ON Canada M4Y 2N9


== Contents ==

[2000-4-1]
TWENTY-FIVE YEARS OF PROGRESS - one man's reminiscence
John Gartshore looks back on a quarter-century of Integrity

[2000-4-2]
FAITHFUL AND FABULOUS
Peter Tovell reports on Integrity/Calgary at Calgary's Pride festivities

[2000-4-3]
BRINGING THE HOUSE DOWN
Janet Bruce reports on the Anglicans marching in Toronto's Pride events

[2000-4-1]

This summer, Integrity/Toronto marks its twenty-fifty anniversary.
Integrator asked founding member JOHN GARTSHORE
to give a quick over-view of the past quarter-century.
Here are his memories.

TWENTY-FIVE YEARS OF PROGRESS

one man's reminiscence
by John Gartshore

Prehistory

In the 1960s and 1970s, before some of us came out, the topic of homosexuality was nice and easy. Everybody knew that it was wrong to be gay. There was no need for discussion; it was a known fact. If you needed proof, you could quote (or mis-quote) some bible passages. Many people who quoted the bible never opened that handy book for any other purpose!

There were a few organisations in Toronto: the Gay Alliance Towards Equality (GATE) and the Community Homophile Association of Toronto (CHAT) to name a couple. I became active with CHAT. Metropolitan Community Church (MCC) started a congregation here, pastored by the Reverend Bob Wolfe. MCC did a lot to shake my Anglican self-righteousness.

Stonewall

In 1969, some drag queens and others in New York had a dustup at the Stonewall Tavern on Christopher Street. The police had been treating them badly, and the people in the tavern turned on them and very publicly made the point that they would not put up with discrimination and harassment.

Pride marches

The custom grew up in New York to have a march every year on the last Sunday of June to commemorate the Stonewall riots. It was called "Gay Pride", and later the name became "Lesbian and Gay Pride."

Other cities started having Pride marches. We did in Toronto, with fifty or sixty people straggling up the sidewalk on Yonge Street, shouting things like "Two, four, six, eight. We don't over-populate! " Nobody paid any attention. When my face appeared on the TV news, I expected to be fired the next Monday. Nobody noticed. We were a non-issue. Righteous people knew that we were sinners and they didn't have to pay any attention.

The Steam Bath raids

On 4 February 1981, the Toronto police raided four gay steam- baths, causing so much physical damage that some establishments never opened again. Over three hundred people were arrested.

The next night, there was an angry demonstration on Yonge Street. Over five thousand people, mustered by random phone calls, marched to 52 Division, where we terrified the police to the point that they sent out emergency calls for reinforcements from all over town. We were in a destructive mood, and it's surprising that nobody was seriously hurt. I never want to see such anger again.

As a result, the Right to Privacy Committee was formed, with an offshoot called Gay Court Watch. I became a member of that after I retired. We shepherded accused people through the criminal courts and arranged for lawyers. Very few were convicted. We had made the point that we were to be taken seriously.

After the bath raids, Pride Day no longer was the same puny little celebration. It is now proclaimed as Lesbian and Gay Pride Week. Participants and onlookers now number close to a million people. It's quite a party. Integrity, along with supportive people from several parishes, make a fine and colourful Anglican witness in the parade.

The founding of Integrity/Canada

Meanwhile, in 1975, some of us heard of a meeting in Chicago of some gay and lesbian Episcopalians, and six of us converged on Chicago, not knowing that the others were coming. The conference happened in the Cathedral, and the principal speaker was Norman Pittenger. The six of us agreed, and Integrity/Canada was born.

We came back to Toronto and started having coffee-table Eucharists, presided by such persons as Father Gregory Lee. I wasn't the first Convenor-I hadn't the guts. We wrote to all the Canadian bishops and told them we were there. Only one bishop responded. He later told me that he had attended an MCC service in mufti. "What a fine Christian worship that was! " he said.

Eventually, I got up some nerve and made an appointment with Lewis Garnsworthy, the then Bishop of Toronto. He received me with great courtesy, saying, "John, I'm glad you've come to see me. Now the door's open." Lewis was the first of a long line of bishops who have celebrated with Integrity/Toronto.

At first, Integrity/Toronto was a chapter of the US organisation. Other chapters started to grow up and Canada was named a "region". I was the first Regional Director, followed by Jim Hicks of Calgary. Jim perceived (rightly, I think) that we needed to do things our way in Canada, so he arranged for us to be a separate organisation with close connections to Integrity Inc in the US. We tried to organise a national headquarters, but quickly realised that we could spend all our energy on bureaucracy, so that today in Canada, we are a loose federation of chapters.

The House of Bishops

In 1976, the Primate (Archbishop Ted Scott) formed a task force, chaired by Professor Jim Reed, to study the topic of homosexuality and report to the House of Bishops. We reported in February 1977 and again in 1978. The reception the first year was chilly. I remember one bishop sitting there with his eyes tight shut, loudly saying "It's unnatural. It's unnatural." I tried to make the point that his kind of sex would be unnatural for me!

In 1979, the House passed a motion which said, "The Church will not call in question the ordination of a person who has shared with the Bishop his or her sexual orientation if there has been a commitment to the Bishop to abstain from sexual acts with persons of the same sex as part of the requirements for ordination." That policy still is in force, but its enforcement is often tempered with common sense these days.

For a long time, the bishops talked about us behind closed doors. We had to say, "If you won't tell us what you're doing, we have to conclude that you aren't doing anything." In recent years, the bishops have been much more open in their deliberations.

Jim Ferry

In July 1991, a gay Toronto priest, the Reverend Jim Ferry, went to the bishop with a personal and confidential matter. It seemed that some people in his parish were planning to make trouble about his sexual orientation, and Jim loyally wanted the bishop to know about it in advance. The matter quickly got out of hand. The next Sunday, a suffragan bishop appeared at Jim's church, outed Jim to his congregation, and made some remarks that some of us call ill-advised. For instance, he outlined what he considered to be the current policy, and capped that with the comment, "The laws of the Anglican Communion are clear on this matter." (I'm not making this up; I am reading from the transcript of the homily.)

That comment is to many of us, outrageous. There are no "laws of the Anglican Communion." There is not, and never has been in the history of Anglicanism, any mechanism for enacting "laws" binding on the whole communion. The more recent action of Archbishops Tay and Kolini in Singapore (see below) show that bishops can get away with almost anything they like.

Anyway, Jim's license was withdrawn, simply because he refused to send his partner away, and he was inhibited, which means that he could not function as a priest. Jim courageously called their bluff by insisting on an ecclesiastical trial, which happened the next February. The Court upheld Bishop Finlay's decision to revoke Jim's license. Today, the license has been restored, but on a very restricted basis.

The major political change was that homosexuality could never be on the back burner again, which would not have happened without Jim's refusal to go away quietly, but rather insisting on a public process.

Bridgebuilding

In his charge to synod in 1991, Bishop Finlay expressed the urgent need for bridgebuilding, not only on questions of sexuality, but also on other matters on which there is widespread disagreement in the Church. We embraced that initiative enthusiastically, assisting at parish discussions and attempting to help understanding.

In 1994, a new group called Fidelity, committed to the more traditional view, announced its presence with a conference which some of us attended. As we expected, we didn't agree with every opinion expressed, but we remember that Fidelity welcomed our presence.

Despite a stand-off of opinions, Fidelity and Integrity have maintained a friendly relationship, to the chagrin of some who would like to keep a war alive between the factions. We even worship together, as Christians are supposed to do! My feeling is that we should be working towards reduction of homo-phobia, not enhancing it.

Bishop Finlay formed a Dialogue Group in 1995, composed of himself, three Fidelity members and three Integrity members. I think their major contribution has been the pamphlet, Emerging Common Ground, which shows that there are matters on which we can agree, even if we disagree on others.

Publications

Years ago, Integrity/Toronto started a newsletter. First it was a hand-written sheet, then in typescript, and now it has developed into a fine publication called *Integrator*, with a print run of 650, available on internet at . Credit has to go to Chris Ambidge who has edited it for many years. We have produced many excellent pamphlets over the years for distribution at synods and elsewhere. Titles in print includ: "Family Values", "Why do we stay?", and "A personal experience of Homophobia". The text of all of our pamphlets are also available on our website.

Synods

For the last decade, we have had a display at the annual Toronto Diocesan Synod. This is an opportunity for Members of Synod to meet us, pick up our pamphlets, and talk about whatever bothers them. A number of people have joined the chapter after meeting us at Synod.

General Synod, the national government of the Anglican Church of Canada, meets every three years. In 1983 for the first time, I trekked off to General Synod in Fredericton. I wandered around wearing a jacket that said "Integrity Toronto" on the back and talked to as many people as possible. I was told that one bishop said to a member, "I've just met someone whose name-tag said 'Integrity'. Do I want to know what that is? " and the member replied "No." In the case of that bishop, he was right!

Since then, along with members of other Canadian chapters, we have been present at each General Synod. In 1986, Peter Iveson was our visible presence in Winnipeg. In 1989, we set up our first booth at the synod in St. John's, staffed by members of the Vancouver and Toronto chapters. More recently, other Canadian chapters also co-operate well to produce new pamphlets and agree on the matters we want to promote.

Since 1989, we have had displays at the synods in Toronto, Ottawa, and Montreal, with both serious and frivolous things to do. In St John's, we handed out a different flavour of jelly beans every day, inviting people to "come back tomorrow and find out the fruit of the day! " We handed out fans in Montreal, where the heat in the synod chamber was stifling. We have produced some excellent pamphlets, printed on paper all colours of the rainbow.

You never know what's going to happen. In St. John's, when one woman was, for the moment, staffing the display alone, a local yokel swanned up and said, "If you just spend one night with me, you'll never be a lesbian any more!" I'm not convinced that his proposal was in keeping with the House of Bishops guidelines. Anyway, after that we never leave anyone alone at the booth.

The Toronto synod was held at Ryerson University, just blocks away from the gay ghetto, not long after Jim Ferry's trial. Emotions were still running high, and we warned the authorities that there could be a demonstration. I, for one, am glad that didn't happen.

At that synod, there was a "hearing"-not a session of the synod- about homosexuality. The format was cleverly contrived by the Primate and his Principal Secretary (the present Bishop of New Westminster). There were six invited speakers, who ranged from the very positive to the very negative, and in my opinion from the carefully reasoned to the loony. It created some fine discussion in which each person's right to an opinion was carefully respected.

The Ottawa synod passed a resolution which said "This General Synod affirms the presence and contribution of gay men and lesbians in the life of the Church and condemns bigotry, violence and hatred toward any due to their sexual orientation."

At the Montreal synod in 1998, in the middle of a discussion, a woman walked in, plunked down at the table with the Diocese of Qu'Appelle, then got up and made a speech. This wasn't a formal session of Synod, so no procedural harm was done. The next day, I was chatting with the Primate, and said, "I'm encouraged by that. One of these days I can get up and make a speech too! " "Oh no you can't," he replied with a grin. "You're known!"

Lambeth and Singapore

At the 1998 Lambeth Conference of Anglican bishops from all over the world, we saw the depth of disagreement which the topic of homosexuality takes people. The bishops' behaviour was a mixed blessing. One section produced a report on human sexuality, parts of which were excellent, but other parts made little sense, particularly since they voted not to hear a delegation of lesbians and gays. Some of their opinions sounded wrong to me; the report would be more credible if they had provided footnotes which might show that the conclusions were the result of serious study and understanding, and not just gut feeling. Much more hurtful was the resolution (I.10) passed by the plenary session. [see Integrator issues 98-4, 98-5 and 99-4]

Shortly after Lambeth, in St Andrew's Cathedral in Singapore, the Primates of South East Asia and Rwanda ordained two priests to the order of bishops who were to be intravenously squirted into dioceses to support anti-fag parish clergy who don't want to be obedient to pro-fag bishops [see *Integrator* 2000-1]. Keep your eyes heaven-ward and watch for purple parachutes!

Where do we go from here?

In twenty-five years, Integrity/Canada has grown from a handful of timid characters to a large company of positive-thinking persons. We have taken our study seriously and qualified to be listened to. The Anglican Church of Canada has moved from bad- mouthing us to respectful attention to our needs.

There's lots more to be done. Many of us feel an urgent need for liturgies to bless same-sex unions; many feel that the present policies about ordination of lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgendered persons are most unsatisfactory. On the other hand, there still are lots of people out there who would like us to crawl back into the closet and pretend to be heterosexual. It is my hope that we will continue to negotiate peacefully for what we need, while continuing to insist on the respect from all that many now accord us. Amen.

Table of Contents

[2000-4-2]

FAITHFUL AND FABULOUS
Integrity/Calgary at Calgary Pride

by Peter Tovell

"Faithful and fabulous" was how Outlooks, Alberta's gay and lesbian monthly newspaper described Integrity/Calgary's participation in the city's Gay and Lesbian Pride Parade on June the 11th. Nine members of Integrity/Calgary marched behind the Integrity banner. Out of the 1,000 odd marchers in the parade we made our faith and pride known to our community carrying hand- held signs saying" Christians marching with pride" and "Integrity: Gay and Lesbian Christians and Friends" and singing out familiar hymns. A picture of those marchers appeared in Outlooks too.

The parade marked the beginning of Pride Week 2000 in Calgary. MCC Calgary offered an evening service on June the 11th , and Integrity offered a Gay and Lesbian Pride Service at St Stephen's Anglican church on June the 18th; book-ending Pride Week with eucharistic worship and fellowship. The Rev Brian Pearson, the incumbent at St Stephen's, led the Integrity service bringing greetings from Bishop Barry Hollowell of the Anglican Diocese of Calgary. Forty people attended the Pride Service, including members of Integrity/Calgary, MCC Calgary, gay and lesbian neighbours and friends, and parishioners from St Stephen's -- a record turnout for an Integrity service. St Stephen's, the home of Integrity/Calgary is located in mid-town Calgary and has an established profile in the city. The response of the community and the attendance at the Pride Service are direct results of both St Stephen's and Integrity's continuing outreach policies.

The organization for both the parade and the Pride Service became a spiritual process for us; awaking and strengthening the small but dedicated group of people into an understanding of what Integrity is about. Planning our involvement in the parade and the Pride Service liturgy became a rallying point for us. In working together, we found our pride and our faith to maintain Integrity's presence in Calgary and to offer a place where gay and lesbian Christians of all denominations can feel welcome and meet to worship together. Living in a city that does not have as large a population base as Toronto or Vancouver means that our community profile is smaller and therefore harder to maintain. However after this past Pride Week, I think we can say that Integrity Calgary is alive and well.

After Pride Week, Integrity/Calgary re-established a regular calendar of worship services at St Stephen's to be celebrated by a rota of volunteer clergy from within the Diocese and a regular calendar of social events at members homes. Eucharist is celebrated at St Stephen's the second Sunday of each month at 7:30 p.m. and social gatherings with a home Eucharist happen the fourth Saturday of each month. Our first Eucharist at St Stephen's after Pride Week was celebrated by the Bishop, Barry Hollowell who since his election last fall, has been a welcome supporter and a firm believer in Integrity maintaining a healthy profile in the Diocese.

PETER TOVELL
has lived in Calgary for a couple of years now.
He is an active member of both Integrity/Calgary and of St Stephen's Anglican church.


Table of Contents

[2000-4-3]

BRINGING THE HOUSE DOWN:
Anglicans in the Toronto Pride Day Parade

By Janet Bruce

A little tiny dog, sporting a little tiny T-shirt with The Cathedral logo printed on it, marched with the Anglicans Sunday. I thought of cartoon character Obelix's palm-sized pup Idefix, whose lion-hearted courage belies his diminutive stature. Braving a sea of moving shoes, impassible crowds to either side, hot asphalt, and possible heatstroke, little Rheba completed the entire march.

Rheba reminded me also of Toto. I could hear the Wicked Witch of the West spitting, "You and your little dog!" The WWW was furious because not only had Dorothy diminished her power (by squashing the WWE), Dorothy also had the audacity to believe she deserved to love and be loved. Believing in our right to love and be loved, 40 or 50 of us Dorothys walked beneath the Anglican banner.

Three Dorothys late of Northumberland County ("Real Country. Real Close") were participating in the parade for the first time. Here in downtown Toronto, we had little fear of encountering lions or tigers or bears, although we did meet the occasional moose. Come to think of it, we saw some bears as well, preparing their leather-and-stud outfits for their turn in the parade. Human butterflies on stilts flitted past us, a rainbow-striped Chinese dragon roared by, strange woman-birds with black- feathered wings strode in silence, clowns mingled with the crowds, frivolous machines blew bubbles and confetti, two- spirited people in buckskin and body paint gathered in friendship. It were real close, but it weren't Kansas.

I was shy at first of the hosts who lined the Yellow-Striped Bloor Street, urging us on. By the time we started turning onto Yonge Street, however, it had sunk in that we were *all* in the parade, queer or straight, marching or standing still, and I began to look my fellow questors in the eye. I began to make peace signs, thumbs-up signs. I got brave enough to hand out brochures promoting my home parish to especially cheery well- wishers. Someone called out to me, "You march, girl!" and I danced an impromptu jig in acknowledgement. I was -- good heavens! I was evangelizing!

We all were, of course, we several dozen Anglican Dorothys. We hoisted our "Anglicans marching with pride" signs, waved, smiled, called out to people we knew. One of us, wearing gorgeous sequined ruby sneakers, constantly reiterated his reason for sticking with the still gay-dubious Anglican Church: "There's no place like home." Maybe one or two estranged Anglicans will come home after seeing us. Maybe it just feels good to drop the occasional house. Take that, Principalities!

JANET BRUCE,
sometime resident of Northumberland county, now attends St Peter's in Toronto. She joined Anglicans from Holy Trinity, St Mary Magdalene, Redeemer and St James Cathedral in the Toronto Lesbian/Gay Pride March on 25 June 2000
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End of volume 2000-4 of Integrator, the newsletter of Integrity/Toronto
Copyright © 2001 Integrity/Toronto
comments please to Chris Ambidge, Editor
integritytoronto@hotmail.com OR
Integrity/Toronto Box 873 Stn F Toronto ON Canada M4Y 2N9

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