Saturday, February 25, 2012

Integrity NYC Metro to March in St. Pat's For All Parade in Queens

Integrity NYC-Metro is pleased to announce we will once again be participating in the St. Pat's for All Parade in Queens on Sunday, March 4th.

Founded in 2000, St. Pat's for All is an inclusive celebration that welcomes people of many ages and ethnic backgrounds. It was founded in response to a conflict regarding LGBT groups being banned from the better-known parade in Manhattan.

This year's theme is "cherishing all the children of the nation equally" and -- fittingly -- the parade will be led by a contingent of young people.  The principal honorees are the political historian and novelist Peter Quinn, author of the now-available book The Man Who Never Returned; and Mary Brosnahan, Executive Director of The Coalition for the Homeless. Mary was named by the New York Post this past year one of the “Fifty Most Powerful Women in New York.” Terry Golway of The New York Observer noted that if “compassion were an industry in New York, Ms. Brosnahan would be its chief executive officer.”

Individuals, congregations and others are invited to march with Integrity NYC-Metro. Participation is free, but any contribution to offset the cost of participating will be appreciated.

  • WHEN:  Sunday, March 4, 2012 at 1:00 p.m.
  • WHERE: Skillman Avenue at 47th Street in Woodside Queens
  • TRANSIT: 7 to 46th St. then walk two blocks north to Skillman Avenue and turn right.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Ash Wednesday Services at Our Partner Parishes

Ash Wednesday the beginning of Lent, is coming up this Wednesday, February 22nd. If you are looking for a place to observe the occasion and receive ashes, here is a list of our Proud Parish Partner congregations, with service times:


New Jersey


Friday, February 17, 2012

Christie Vetoes Marriage Equality Bill

As expected, Governor Christie of New Jersey has vetoed the Marriage Equality and Religious Exemption Act which was passed by both houses of the state legislature this week.  Supporters of the bills now have until January of 2014 to garner enough votes to override the governor's veto. 

The governor, who believes civil unions are an adequate concession to same-sex couples despite continued logistical and social evidence to the contrary, has suggested a public referendum on the matter.  While the majority of New Jersey voters do favor legalizing marriage equality, we agree with those in the vanguard of this fight that civil rights should not be left to a public vote. 

"While I am disappointed that Governor Christie has chosen to stand on the wrong side of history, the wrong side of fairness, and the wrong side of faith, I remain hopeful that Marriage Equality will soon be a reality in New Jersey," said the Rev. Jon M. Richardson, Integrity's Vice-President for National Affairs and the Priest-in-Charge at St. Paul's Church in Jersey City, "I am deeply grateful to all of the legislators and faith leaders who have stood up for progress while Governor Christie has chosen politics over fairness.  'Justice for all!' is an American value, a Christian value, and a Family value.  Though Governor Christie's values may be different, justice will win in the end."

While it comes as no surprise that Governor Christie made good on his promise to veto this bill, it is nonetheless disappointing.  As people of faith who believe God loves ALL loving, faithful relationships, we will continue to BELIEVE OUT LOUD and witness that belief to those around us until justice does indeed roll down like water and all couples in the state are afforded the same rights and responsibilities.  We will also go on striving to make our congregations places where such partnerships are blessed and nurtured.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Marriage Equality Acts Pass in NJ Senate & House, Action Needed to Overcome Veto

Both houses of the New Jersey Legislature passed versions of the Marriage Equality and Religious Exemption Act this week. On Monday, Feb. 13th, the Senate voted 24-16 in favor, and today (Thursday) the Assembly followed with a vote of 42-33.

Integrity NYC-Metro is extremely grateful to the Right Rev. Mark Beckwith, Bishop of Newark, and the Right Rev. George Councell, Bishop of New Jersey, for their repeated visits to the State House and speaking out to the press. Thanks to all the clergy and laity who have dared to BELIEVE OUT LOUD about marriage equality as a Christian value.

 “It's exciting to witness the progress toward marriage equality that is already happening in the state of New Jersey and I'm particularly heartened by the leadership on that front by our Episcopal bishops,” said the Rev. Jon M. Richardson, Integrity’s Vice-President, National Affairs and Priest-in Charge at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Jersey City. “ I join my voice with so many others in our state calling on Governor Christie to sign the bill.”

 However, our work is not yet complete. Governor Christie has indicated he will veto these bills if they reach his desk, and that he prefers a public referendum on the matter. While the majority of New Jerseyans favored marriage equality in recent polls, we do not believe people's civil rights should be put to a vote. We need your voices added to ours in the effort to either build veto-proof support for this legislation or convince the governor to let it pass. We must ensure that a referendum, should it occur, would not put marriage equality in New Jersey further beyond reach.

We ask that you contact your assembly and senate representatives, friends, family members and those in your congregation and be willing to speak from your heart on why marriage equality matters to you. Too often Christians are assumed to be against LGBT equality: at this historic moment in our state's history, let's break that assumption and tell New Jersey that ALL love is of God, and the rights and responsibilities of a stable, recognized relationship belong to ALL couples.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Good times with Integrity/NYC-Metro on February 10th

Forty eight people turned out for Integrity/NYC-Metro's Eucharist and Social on Friday, February 10th, at The Church of St. Luke in the Fields. The Rev. Jon M. Richardson, Priest-in-Charge of St. Paul's, Bergen and Integrity Vice President of National Affairs presided; The Rev. Dn. Kent Curtis of All Saints, Manhattan, served as deacon; and The Rev. Jan Nunley, parishioner-priest at St. Peter's, Peekskill stirred everyone up with a great sermon.

We were blessed with presence of Integrity's founder, Louie Crew. It was also wonderful to have some folks who were checking out the Episcopal Church for the very first time, as they had heard of the event through NYU's campus ministry. The social went on for over an hour and a half, until the hall finally had to be locked for the evening. (Rumor has it that some folks continued the party on their own!)

The steering committee was very pleased by the response, and is planning another Eucharist and Social for early May. We are hoping to do something brand-new for Integrity and have a Spanish-language Eucharist in a Latino parish! Watch this blog for details.