Dear People of The Episcopal Church in South Carolina,
In 1979, the General Convention of The Episcopal Church endorsed the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment, which would add to the U.S. Constitution these words: “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.” The 76th General Convention in 2009 renewed the Church’s support for the ERA. As a Bishop I was present at that General Convention and voted in favor of the resolution.
As you may know, constitutional amendments require at least three-fourths of the states, 38, to ratify by legislative action before they can be adopted. This year, South Carolina has a historic opportunity to become the 38th state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. A bill has been introduced in the South Carolina House of Representatives, H.3391, for ratification of the ERA, and other legislation is likely to be forthcoming. Many people in our communities, including members of The Episcopal Church in South Carolina, are playing important roles in supporting this effort both locally and in the Statehouse in Columbia.
I fully support the Equal Rights Amendment, and I encourage you to learn about it, study the issues carefully and prayerfully, and consider contacting your state Representatives and Senators about legislation to ratify the ERA. Resources for doing so are included at the end of this message.
The Equal Rights Amendment, and all efforts aimed at ending discrimination based on sex, are in keeping with what we believe as followers of Jesus. Genesis 1:26-27 teaches us that all human beings are created in the image and likeness of God. Throughout the Bible, Jesus teaches us about the inherent dignity and worth of every person. As Episcopalians, we promise in our Baptismal Vows to “respect the dignity of every human being,” and to “seek and serve Christ in all persons.”
As your Bishop, it is my joy to work among people who are called and committed to seeking justice, combatting oppression, and proclaiming God’s love for every human being. I am grateful for that shared ministry and hold all of you in my prayers as we seek to be witnesses to that love in our communities, our state, and our nation.
Faithfully in Christ,
The Right Reverend Gladstone B. Adams III
The Episcopal Church in South Carolina
CLICK HERE to read and download information and resources compiled by the League of Women Voters of the Charleston Area.
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Bishop Skip Adams
The Right Reverend Gladstone B. Adams III was elected and invested as our Bishop on September 10, 2016. Read more about him here.