Key Episcopal Church Committee Approves Same-Sex Marriage Liturgy

EpiscopalAs expected, the Episcopal Church's General Convention's central prayer committee today approved of a resolution that would construct a liturgy to bless same-sex marriages, though there are still provisions for individual priests who object to marriage equality.

"No bishop, priest, deacon or lay person should be coerced or penalized in any manner, nor suffer any canonical disabilities, as a result of his or her conscientious objection to or support for the 77th General Convention’s action with regard to the Blessing of Same-Sex Relationships," reads an amendment attached to the proposal, according to MSNBC.

According to the press release, leaders within the church are aware they will have to hammer out an agreement down the road. "This is clearly a work in process, and there is a place in that process for all Episcopalians, whether or not they agree with the action we are taking today," it said.

More from MSNBC:

In the proposed rites, each person would make a vow to the other, exchange rings and be declared "bound to one another in a holy covenant, as long as they both shall live." The resolution also asks that the liturgy be approved for provisional use starting the first week of Advent — beginning on Dec. 2, 2012 — and calls for a review process before the next General Convention in 2015. Congregations and clergy wishing to use the liturgy would need the permission of their bishops.

In states that currently allow same-sex civil marriage, such as Maryland and New York, Episcopalians may already bless same-sex marriages, but there is no formal church-wide liturgy. Commitment ceremonies for gay couples are allowed elsewhere in the church at the discretion of the local bishop.

The vote will now go to the House of Bishops and then the House of Deputies, a body that is open to lay people as well as clergy.

On a related note, the House of Bishops approved a resolution this weekend allowing transgender men and women to become ministers. That too goes forward for a final vote.


  1. Joel says

    It’s important to note that what is permitted to Episcopal priests varies by diocese. In New York, for example, priests may “bless” a marriage, but cannot actually “marry” people. That is, some other official must do the actual legal bit of making one person married to another. I know the article says “bless,” too, but don’t confuse that with actually being able to perform a marriage.

  2. StevyD says

    I wish the Episcopal God would have a serious talk with the Catholic God and Mormon God and Muslim God and Southern Baptist God and Methodist God and Presbyterian God and all the other homophobic Gods.
    My God dwells within me and doesn’t give a rats ass who I marry as long as I love, cherish, honor and respect him as he would me.

  3. JFE says

    Yo, MSNBC, Maryland does NOT allow same-sex marriages. You could have picked Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Maine, Iowa, DC, etc.

  4. The Rev. Wm. Blake Rider says

    On Monday afternoon the House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church approved the proposed resolution and liturgy to bless same-gender relationships. Vote was 111 to 43. The issue now moves to the House of Deputies (lay and clergy Deputies) tomorrow, where it is widely believed that it will pass by a similiar if not larger majority. Thanks be to God.

  5. says

    @ STEVYD :

    I agree with your post.
    All the gods need to sit down together and work out a tolerant, loving position on their beloved creations….us.

    I mean, we’ve heard god-the-father quoted from Leviticus; we’ve heard Jesus-god-the-son quoted from the Gospels; but we haven’t heard a word from the Holy Ghost-god.

    This makes me very suspicious that their hard line on how gays love each other may have a crack, … may not be a unanimous viewpoint.
    I have no idea what the other gods
    (non white)think about us, but judging by the way our brothers and sisters are treated around the world, I’m not optimistic about their gods’ opinions.
    If they had an International Forum about us, at least we could make submissions…….and we may well get support from god the Holy Ghost.

  6. says

    I mean in the old days the gods Zeus, Apollo, Athena, Hera, all talked to each other , even if they did not agree on everything……..
    But they sure were not obsessed with gays, as Achilles and Petrocolus and Alexander and Hephaistion can testify.
    It seems that only the modern gods, (father,son and Holy Ghost maybe ? ),are the ones with the “sex” problems.
    I’ll stick with the older gods.

  7. candide001 says

    @Jackfkntwist Zeus and Apollo were pederastic gods, with famous boy lovers such as Ganymede and Hyacinthus. And don’t forget the fully bisexual Dionysus. It’s too bad Constantine made such a poor choice and for purely political purposes backed Christianity, which he probably didn’t believe in anyway. We’ve all been paying the price ever since.

  8. says

    @ CANDIDE001 :
    Agreed……..the pre christian gods were more interesting , had more fun and were less obsessed with who loved whom.

    Constantine must have been a bit like Henry of Navarre…. “Paris is worth a Mass” !
    I guess power was his motivation.
    But the ancient gods have as much validity as any others, ……(what am I saying), ….I meant more validity !!! IMHO.

  9. bravo says

    My high school Latin teacher (a Jesuit priest) once quipped: Even though I am Catholic, I really admire the Greek and Roman gods. Zeus made much better use of the lightning bolt than our god.

  10. says

    The Global Babbler is unopposed to gay unions in and of itself. What we are opposed to is imposition by gay groups. The law says according to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, that it is against the law to discriminate. We accept this federal law… but we do not accept gays imposing their culture or beliefs on others. This is unacceptable as well. We stand by the right to disassociate with whatever culture we feel might potentially threaten our own. This is not discrimination, this is self preservation. We as devout heterosexuals reserve the Christian right to preserve our way of life, which is not a law but a natural right….

  11. simon says

    Zeus also impregnated a virgin who gave birth to Harry Hamlin or Sam Worthington in “Clash of the Titans” instead of Jesus. All nonsense. But at least that story is more interesting.

  12. Aziz says

    just answering the one who was wishing that the Episcopal God would have a serious talk with the Catholic God and Mormon God and Muslim God and Southern Baptist God…

    i am sorry to disappoint you but the other Gods are not gay.

    keep wishing

  13. DB says

    Hallelujah! God bless marriage and God bless the Episcopal Church. It is great to see the oldest and most mainstream and Jesus-focused Christian denomination in America supported marriage, love, and the teachings of Christ.

  14. says

    Leviticus 18 & 20; Romans 1; 1 Corinthians 6; and 1 John 1. “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:13) Acts 2:38, 3:19, 8:22, 17:30, and 26:20. May the light of the Lord Jesus Christ guide you to life everlasting. In His Holy name I pray. Amen.

  15. Phil Vollman says

    So, I’m here in my hotel room in Indianapolis, right next to the Convention Center.
    While I was not at the legislative sessions for resolutions D002, D011, and D019, many of my friends were there. Yesterday and today are joyous days! :-)

    One of the things I have learnt, though, is that the conservatives (and the conservatives in our church are actually moderates, because the ‘real’ conservatives left) have *some* valid points. As a Church that is part of the Anglican Communion, we have tenuous responsibilities to other churches. When I was at the open hearing for the same-gender blessings (yes, I’m gay, and that’s what we call gay marriage) there were points raised about violence against Anglicans in countries where they were in the minority. While it’s sort of a straw man argument, I was glad that some sort of understanding was made to appease these people.

    Being Christian means that we seek to be INCLUSIVE. That means we don’t throw out our conservatives because they don’t agree with us on everything. In our Book of Common Prayer we say “Father, we pray for your holy catholic church–that we may be one.” I am amazed by how just listening to someone’s concerns, and providing a cogent and theologically sound argument can often lead them to an understanding that full inclusion for LGBTQ (and I pray eventually poly people, although that is a different story) is an outward expression of God’s grace and truly the right move for our church AND our faith. :-)

  16. ratbastard says

    That religion is the opiate of the masses is just about the only thing Karl Marx got right.

    Posted by: zekeaz


    You got that right. Too bad the rest of his ideology was responsible for the suffering and murders of hundreds of millions of people in a span of less than 100 years. And how homophobic and gay friendly were/are Marxist/Communist and post Marxist/communist nations and societies?

Leave A Reply