Thursday, March 1, 2018

House of Deputies Special Committee on Sexual Harassment and Exploitation appointed

House of Deputies President Gay Clark Jennings has appointed a House of Deputies special committee to draft legislation on sexual harassment and exploitation for this summer’s General Convention.

"In January, Presiding Bishop Curry and I called the church to examine its history and end the systemic sexism, misogyny and misuse of power that plague the church just as they corrupt our culture, institutions and governments,” Jennings said. “We asked Episcopalians to consider what roles each of us is called to play in the church’s collective repentance.”

Since then, scores of women from across the church have contacted her. “On Facebook, via email, by phone and in person, women have been in touch to share their stories and let me know that they want to be part of changing the church’s culture on these issues,” Jennings said. “I am delighted to harness their energy by appointing this committee.”

The group, which Jennings will chair, is divided into five sub-committees that arose from ideas that women contributed to a Facebook discussion on the House of Deputies page in late January. One group will draft legislation concerning theology and language, while others will address issues of structural equity including pay and benefits, the Title IV disciplinary process, and social justice for women. In response to the presiding officers’ call for the church to examine its history, a sub-committee will draft legislation proposing the creation of a truth and reconciliation process.
A roster of the special committee, created under Article X of the House of Deputies Rules of Order, is available on the House of Deputies website.