Integrity installs new board of directors

Posted Oct 6, 2015

[Integrity USA press release] Integrity USA is pleased to announce that the the new board of directors began its three year term on October 1, 2015.

This past General Convention has called the Episcopal Church to lead and serve in even more inclusive ways.  Integrity USA is excited to answer that call.  We now have a new Board of Directors ready to serve the church and our movement through uncharted possibilities.

Each of the people who volunteered to run for election and were chosen to bring unique gifts to their upcoming ministries. They are united, however, in their dedication and faith in the future of this organization.

The new Board has many things going for it which will prove to be valuable as our work continues to evolve.  Four of the six members live in Southern states (Provinces 4 and 7), which means that the needs of this region will be better represented than ever before.  Three members identify as either transgender or gender non-conforming.  There is no doubt that their voices and votes on this Board will help Integrity to be even more sensitive and equipped to serve this growing demographic in our church. We have laypeople, a deacon and a priest serving fully according to their callings. Each member has a long history of local activism, church involvement and servant leadership.  Your new Board of Directors are:

Bruce Garner, President (Diocese of Atlanta)
The Rev. Gwen Fry, V.P. of National Affairs (Diocese of Arkansas)
S Wayne Mathis, V.P. of Local Affairs (Diocese of Texas)
The Rev. Carolyn Woodall, Stakeholder’s Chair (Diocese of San Joaquin)
Mel Soriano, Secretary/Communications (Diocese of Los Angeles)
Deanna Bosch, Treasurer (Diocese of Texas)

President Bruce Garner, who previously served in 1990-1994 in the same office, described the continuing mission of Integrity USA: “Let me also be clear that being able to marry the person we love does not equate to having achieved equality as LGBTQ persons.  We can still be fired from jobs because of sexual orientation and gender expression/identity in too many places.  We have no protection of guarantees of housing or public accommodation in too many places.  Our children…all children and teens….do not have the protections they need against being bullied and harassed in schools and in society.  Our trans sisters and brothers who find themselves incarcerated face even more terrible discrimination from authorities that has the potential to undo what they have achieved in their lives simply trying to live as the person God created them to be.  Too many of our trans sisters and brothers are being murdered with law enforcement not apparently giving these cases the attention due them.  Those living with HIV/AIDS are often denied critical medications needed to treat them while they are in jails and prisons.  We have much work to do.”

Garner continues, “Even within The Episcopal Church, LGBT clergy face obstacles to fulfilling their calls to serve God. Discrimination in deployment remains a reality.  Similarly, there are still places where LGBT lay people are not allowed to serve openly in leadership roles in parishes and dioceses.  Marriage equality has not solved what is actually still the even larger issue of full inclusion in our church.”
Integrity is a member-supported nonprofit organization of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender [LGBT] Episcopalians and straight friends. Since its founding by Dr. Louie Crew in 1974, Integrity has been the leading grassroots voice for the full inclusion of LGBT persons in the Episcopal Church and equal access to its rites. Integrity activities include advocacy, worship, fellowship, education, communication, outreach, and service to the church. Through Integrity’s evangelism, thousands of LGBT people, estranged from the Episcopal Church and other denominations, have returned to parish life.