Resolved, That House of Deputies Rules of Order IV(A) is hereby amended as follows:
(A) Floor Privileges. No one will be admitted to the floor except Deputies, officers of the House, and:
(1) the Treasurer of the General Convention;
(2) other persons authorized by the President or Secretary, to assist in the conduct of the business of the House;
(3) other persons invited or authorized by the President;
(4) infants under one year of age with a parent or guardian who is a deputy, with space provided to permit feeding while on the floor and access to voting while feeding; however, a nursing parent will not be asked to wear a cover or move to the designated feeding area;
(5) children over one year old who require nursing or bottle-feeding; provided that children are permitted only while feeding; a nursing parent will not be asked to wear a cover or move to the designated feeding area;
(6) caregivers of children, to bring a child to a feeding parent when the child needs to be fed, escorted in and out as directed by the President.
No parent deputy should have to choose between serving the church and being a parent.
The first years of life are vital to the development of children, and the bond that is created through parental feeding is an important component in this development. It is important for the child’s immune system, and in the case of nursing, it’s important for a parent to nurse regularly for their health.
In the Episcopal Church, we desire to have the involvement of more younger adults and families; to fully live into this call, the Episcopal Church must welcome those with children to participate in leadership roles. The Episcopal Church must find ways to make this possible and easy for a parent to care for their young children while still being active participants in the greater life of the church.
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