[saymaListserv] regarding FGC Summer Gathering

DrsBarch at aol.com DrsBarch at aol.com
Thu Mar 24 19:58:59 JEST 2005

Dear Friends,
We have become aware of the concern raised by Kristi Estes  on this site 
about bringing her children with her to Gathering in  Virginia. We have been aware 
of this concern even before the Virginia Law which  Kristi cites went into 
effect last summer, though this was long after the  Gathering site had been 
selected. Indeed, there were considerable discussions at  Gathering last summer in 
FLGBTQC Meeting for Business and in called sessions as  well to look at the 
potential impact of this law on Friends, particularly on  adoptive parents but 
also on gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or queer  Friends or others who 
are not in traditional marriage relationships. Indeed,  during our hours of 
joint discernment, it became clear to many present that we  are clear that we are 
called to Virginia to witness to that of God in  our gay, lesbian, bisexual, 
transgender and queer Friends and we are  working with FLGBTQC to coordinate 
what forms that witness will take.  
In order to gain clarity about the situation we might face in Blacksburg,  
Liz Perch (as Gathering Coordinator) Frank and Jean-Marie Prestwidge Barch (as  
Gathering CoClerks) spoke in person and at some length with the President and  
CEO of the local hospital, Ward Stevens. He informed us that the hospital 
will  honor any durable power of attorney document and any written and signed 
note  from a legal parent authorizing anyone to make medical decisions for that 
person  (or child, in the case of a minor) without further regard to the 
relationship  between these people. He told us that he actually carries such a 
document  himself in the glove compartment of his car although he is in a marriage  
recognized by the Commonwealth of Virginia. (Samples of these documents will 
be  available for download on the FLGBTQC website well in advance of the 
Gathering.)  He further informed us that it is hospital policy that if someone is 
in the  Intensive Care Unit (where visitors are usually limited in all 
hospitals) they  may receive two visitors at a time; there are no restrictions on who 
may visit.  We also checked that particular policy with the head nurse in the 
ICU since any  questions would rest with her discretion for adjudication in 
the normal course  of events; she affirmed that this is not only policy, but 
also practice at this  hospital. Additionally, we spent time with the Provost of 
Virginia Tech, Mark  McNamee, and he assured us that it is University policy 
and practice to  uphold gender and sexual preference neutrality; he was clear 
that challenges to  the safety or comfort of Gathering attenders on such 
grounds would not occur on  the Virginia Tech campus. A member of FLGBTQC's Ministry 
and Council has had  communication with the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and 
Transgender Alliance on the  VTech campus and been reassured by their responses that 
our conversations with  Mark McNamee  match their experiences. You can find 
information about them  on their homepage: _http://www.lgbta.org.vt.edu/_ 
(http://www.lgbta.org.vt.edu/) . 

Please fell free to contact us directly at _05clerks at adelphia.net_ 
(mailto:05clerks at adelphia.net)  if you have  further questions of concerns.
In the Light,
Jean-Marie Prestwidge Barch  and Frank Barch
2005 Gathering Co-Clerks

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