Episcopal Church expands same-sex marriage

The Episcopal Church held its triennial General Convention in Austin, Texas. Logo via Facebook.

Last Friday, the Episcopal Church at its General Convention in Austin, Texas, overwhelmingly passed a resolution that extended the right for same-sex couples to marry, even in diocese where the local bishop theologically objects to same-sex marriage.

Eight dioceses had previously not allowed those marriages. Now, if a bishop or clergy objects to marriage of those couples, he or she “shall invite” another bishop of the church to provide pastoral support for the couple, the clergy involved and the congregation.

The resolution says its intent is, “that all couples have convenient and reasonable local congregational access to these rites.”

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The denomination first extended the right of same-sex couples to be married under the rites of the church in 2015, but allowed bishops to exempt their dioceses from allowing those marriages. With the resolution passed at the convention that exemption no longer applies.

The resolution also extended the use of the rites developed for same-sex marriage until the next revision of the church’s Book of Common Prayer.

The Anglican Communion, the worldwide body of which the Episcopal Church is a member, has long struggled with homosexuality and same-sex marriage. At a conference in 1998, bishops passed a resolution stating that “homosexual acts” are “incompatible with Scripture”.

However, the resolution is not binding on constituent bodies. Several national churches have taken steps to approve the rite of marriage for same-sex couples.

Copyright The Gayly – July 17, 2018 @ 2:40 p.m. CDT.