CA Supreme Court Tells Anti-Gay Episcopal Churches “You Can’t Take It With You”

Three California Episcopal Churches decided to break-off from the gay-friendly American church over the it’s ordination of gays and lesbians, but the California Supreme Court ruled yesterday that while they’re welcome to pack up their crucifix and leave metaphorically, in practice the crucifix, plus the building it’s housed in and all related property, belong to the mother church.

The AP reports that:

“In a unanimous decision, the California Supreme Court ruled that the property belongs to the Episcopal church because the parishes agreed to abide by the mother church’s rules, which includes specific language about property ownership.

St. James Church in Newport Beach, All Saints Church in Long Beach and St. David’s Church in North Hollywood pulled out of the 2.1 million member national Episcopal Church in 2004 and sought to retain property ownership.

Since 2003, four dioceses and dozens of individual churches have split, setting off bitter legal feuds over division of property.”

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  • Cam

    Have fun recruiting new congregants without a church.

  • ggreen

    Could anyone imagine a “breakaway“ Catholic Church one that promoted gays, their families and was pro-marriage? A Catholic Church that refused to buckle under to the Vatican and denounced the pope and his hateful anti-gay ways. Me neither, sorry MHR.

  • seitan-on-a-stick

    Ah, the Mothership!

  • chuck

    Breaking away from the Mothership is what religion excels at.

    Take a look at how many religions have come about since the advent of Christianity some 2,000 years ago. More than you can shake a stick at.

    Not one, however, has ever broken away to defend the rights of a minority or group of people whose secular rights are being denied or trashed.

    All religions is concerned with is harvesting souls, along with your hard-earned money both during and after your short life on earth.

  • rick

    damned activist judges. how dare they decide against the anti gays! who cares if they don’t actually own the property and the church does.

  • michael

    To fucking bad, they can get a space in a deserted strip shopping center. I am sure that there are plenty of those spaces available with the economy being what it is.

  • BrianZ

    Perhaps they can use all those Mormon church buildings? “:)

  • Paul Raposo

    Let’s see how much money Archbishop Peter Akinola ponies up from poor-as-fuck Africa, to help his new anti-gay friends. If anyone thinks for one minute this was anything more than a power–and money–grab on his part, they are seriously deluded. With all that American and Canadian wealth being kept from him, watch his support of his American cronies dry up. Further, let’s see all those middle class, comfortable and fat Anglicans move to Africa and live in huts. How long ya think that’ll last?

  • Dave

    @chuck: That’s not entirely true – there were some churches that did split over the issue of slavery in the United States. Further I think this situation is more of a protestant phenomena – I think the Catholics have been a hell of a lot more careful about the property thing after loosing so much of it during the Reformation ;)

  • chuck


    Oh, well, in that case, then I am sure that all was forgiven and St. Peter threw the Pearly Gates open wide to those good souls who split with the church over the issue of slavery. ;-)

    As to your comment about the Catholic Church losing so much of their property during the Reformation, why did they have to have so much of it in the first place?

    To feed the starving masses in Third World countries?

  • Drew

    For me, this all points to a fundamental thing I cannot believe about most religion and religious people: An unshakable belief that they are right, based on documents and events that history has shown to be edited BY PEOPLE to push an agenda for control and profit. But it seems most ‘followers’ call it the original will of god and have no interest in the facts or the truth. And then, even worse, they spread that same misinformation with a vengeance while screaming about only THEIR religious freedoms.

    I found this article on belief interesting:

    I KNOW in my heart that I am not a bad person because of being gay and having a husband I love. But thanks to 2 decades spent hearing from religious people that gay people WERE inherently bad if they acknowledge their truth and feelings and act on them, it took me a long time to trust my inner truth. IF there was a universal beingness I also know my internal truth about being gay is real because I am living it and I would not be in some sort of violation with that being – to the contrary, the universe showed me the truth directly, I didn’t have to learn it from some ‘authority’, just to overcome the previous authorities.

    The verifiable history (to whatever degree ANY history is verifiable) of religions like the Catholic Church are their own worst enemy and speak most loudly of the need for critial thought.

    And then there is Rick Warren and I just am stunned again at Obama. I don’t care if it may have good consequences thanks to the thoughtfulness and actions of many other people who oppose his bigotry, doing the wrong thing and then his supporters taking credit for him and praising some good that comes from this bad action without him acknowleding or apologizing for the bigotry is not what I consider being a good person or leader.

  • DavidD

    Haha, you can pack up your crucifixes and leave, that’s hell arious.

  • Dave

    @chuck: Well its hard not to pick up some property in a thousand plus years of history (reformation was in 1520s approximately) but a lot of that property came from the nobility who wanted to see if they could do a little creative spiritual bookkeeping ;) Not unlike some of the current leaders of the far right:|


    Completely irrelevant to everything, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a crucifix in an Episcopal church.

  • RichardR

    Ya win some, ya lose some. After last week’s news about a Virginia court’s having made the opposite ruling, this is good news.

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