The Episcopal Church has approved a liturgy that will allow priests to bless same-sex couples, making the church the biggest in the United States to endorse such a rite.
Starting on Dec. 2, the first Sunday of Advent, priests whose bishops give the OK will be allowed to bless the unions of gay and lesbian couples, whether same-sex marriage is legal in that state or not. (It‚Äôs currently legal in six states, as well as in Washington, D.C.)
The church‚Äôs two voting bodies approved the rite by nearly an 80% majority Tuesday at the Episcopal General Convention in Indianapolis.
‚ÄúThere is a place in this process for every Episcopalian regardless of their level of support,‚ÄĚ Bishop Thomas Ely of Vermont said during the debate, according to a story on the Episcopal Church website. ‚ÄúRead it. Reflect upon it. Use it, but please don‚Äôt ignore it.‚ÄĚ ...