Episcopal Church OKs Gay Marriage
The Episcopal Church has become the first major denomination to approve a blessing for same-sex couples
Bishops at the church’s general convention in Indianapolis voted 111-41, with three abstentions, in favor of using a provisional rite for gay couples for the next three years, reports the AP. The convention also approved new measures to prevent discrimination against transgendered clergy candidates and church members.
The rite, called “The Witnessing and Blessing of a Lifelong Covenant,” includes a clause stating that nobody in the church will be forced to perform the ceremony.
On Monday, several Episcopal bishops who spoke against the same-sex unions trial liturgy warned about the repercussions overseas.
“I believe it will put us, put the Episcopal Church, out of the Christian mainstream,” said Bishop Edward Little of the Diocese of Northern Indiana. “They will interpret that the Episcopal Church has endorsed same-sex marriage.”
However, Bishop Mariann Edgar Budde argued that an official service was needed to honor and bless the “lifelong same-sex couples” who she said “have served Christ and Christ’s mission in ways incalculable to measure.”