D.C. Bishop Vows Support for Same-Sex Unions

The Washington Episcopal Diocese will continue to bless same-sex unions, dismissing a call last week from the Anglican Communion that the Episcopal Church stop solemnizing gay marriages. John Bryson Chane, bishop of the Washington diocese, said in a Feb. 22 written response to the Anglican Communion that the blessing of these unions is a step in the Episcopal Church’s “journey of repentance” for its denial “of the dignity of God’s gay and lesbian children.” The Episcopal Church is the U.S. branch of the Anglican Communion, whose leaders – known as the Anglican Primates – held a global meeting last week in Tanzania and discussed the issue of same-sex marriage. Jim Naughton, the canon for communications and advancement for the diocese, said that the feedback from the Episcopal community about Chane’s remarks has been widespread and positive. “Bishop Chane has long been identified with the full-inclusion wing,” Naughton said. “He was willing to be a little more forceful [on this issue].” Naughton added that Chane’s statements represent the “overwhelming majority” of the members of the Washington Diocese. “A lot of people were not quite sure what the Primates were really saying,” said Albert Schariato, a priest at St. John’s Georgetown Episcopal Church on O Street. “[Parishioners were] comforted and relieved to hear [Chane’s] comments.” Schariato said that a small number of Episcopal parishes take a more conservative stance on same-sex unions, but added that Chane has exhibited “energetic and patient pastoral care” in responding to these parishes’ concerns. – Anna Cheimets

Smoke Found Rising from Georgetown anholes

A cable failure in the city’s underground electrical network Thursday caused smoke to rise from manholes on the 2200 block of Wisconsin Avenue. Bob Dobkin, a spokesperson for the Potomac Energy and Power Company, said the cable failure was caused by the chemicals used to treat city streets during snowstorms interacting with wire insulation. Pepco crews cut off power to one building to inspect the electrical system and make repairs. The smoke caused a brief traffic disturbance in Georgetown. Dobkin said that electrical failures of this nature are routine in the District during the winter months. “We have a rash of them, usually after snowstorms,” Dobkin said. Dobkin attributed this to the treatment that roads receive during snowstorms. “The salt that’s spread on the street is very corrosive,” he said. In order to prevent complications associated with these malfunctions, Pepco has attempted to reduce pressure underground by installing slotted manhole covers throughout the city. D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services Spokesperson Alan Fetter said FEMS also responded to the smoke. – Yoshi Myers

Murchison Reflects on Past Year as Term Ends Today

Twister Murchison (SFS ’08) will say his final goodbye to his office in Sellinger Lounge today, as Ben Shaw (COL ’08) is sworn in to succeed him as GUSA President. urchison, who took office nearly a month after last February’s election despite receiving fewer votes than Khalil Hibri (SFS ’07), said that he inherited the Student Association at one of its lowest points in recent memory. The Election Commission disqualified Hibri and running mate Geoff Greene (SFS ’07) for violating election bylaws during the campaign. Murchison said that he and outgoing Vice President Salik Ishtiaq (SFS ’07) responded to GUSA’s low standing in the eyes of students by trying to address all of the organization’s problems at once, which, he later realized, was a misstep. “Things happened for a reason, and perhaps we wouldn’t have stayed up all those nights and worked on all those projects if we didn’t get off to a rough start,” urchison said. “We became more realistic about what we could and could not do.” He said that he has since achieved some important results, including expanding weekend shuttle service, condensing GUSA’s election bylaws and pushing the successful creation of the GUSA Senate by referendum in October. Hibri, however, said that Murchison could have done a better job reaching out to the student body. “The main problem with every new GUSA administration is that they are all too inward-focused, and they are rarely focused on student needs and issues,” he said. “They have to realize that students are not going to come to them with their problems.” Murchison said that he looks forward to having more free time. “[I’m] looking forward to getting back to doing my homework,” he said. – Meghan Keneally

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