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Memorandum No. 1110

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October 24 2008
In Re: Review of a Decision of Law by Bishop Beverly J. Shamana of the California-Nevada Annual Conference on Whether a Resolution Passed by the Annual Conference Related to Retired Clergy’s Willingness to Perform Same Gender Marriage or Holy Unions violates ¶ 2702.1 of the 2004 Discipline.

Under the current Rules of Practice and Procedure of the Judicial Council, it is the responsibility of the Secretary of the Annual Conference to provide the Secretary of the Judicial Council with materials relating to the matter being appealed, including a copy of the minutes where such matter arose in the normal proceedings of the body. See Rule III B. The minutes should include an exact statement of the entire question submitted on the Bishop’s decision and clearly reflect facts sufficient to invoke the Judicial Council’s jurisdiction, including any and all parliamentary actions tendered thereto. The record does not provide the minutes and the specific action of the Annual Conference. Consequently, the submission fails to reflect facts sufficient to invoke the Judicial Council’s jurisdiction. The accompanying briefs submitted by members of the California-Nevada Annual Conference are not suitable substitutes for the Annual Conference record, nor may briefs or gratuitous statements of parties or interested persons serve in lieu of the record of the Annual Conference action that is maintained and supplied by the Secretary of the Annual Conference. The matter is remanded to the Secretary of the California-Nevada Annual Conference with directions within 30 days to provide the Secretary of the Judicial Council with materials relating to the matter, including a copy of the minutes where such matter arose in the normal proceedings of the body. The minutes should include an exact statement of the entire question submitted for a decision and reflect facts sufficient to invoke the Judicial Council’s jurisdiction, including any and all parliamentary actions tendered thereto.

DIGEST

Deferred to Spring 2009.

DISSENTING OPINION

The principle embodied in the resolution clearly violates the letter as well as the spirit of ¶ 341.6. Our clear precedent as enunciated in Decision 886, Decision 911, and Decision 1021 is that an annual conference may not legally negate, ignore, or violate provisions of the Discipline with which they disagree, even when the disagreements are based on conscientious objections to these provisions. I would affirm the Bishop’s ruling that the California-Nevada resolution is null and void.

Jon R. Gray October 25, 2008

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