Episcopal Bishops Approve Trans Ordination And Blessing For Same-Sex Unions

At their general convention in Indianapolis on Monday, Episcopal bishops approved a resolution to create a liturgy for same-sex unions. The vote was surprisingly overwhelming, with 111 in favor, 41 against and 3 abstaining.

The measure now goes on to the House of Deputies, comprised of both lay members and clergy from the 1.96 million strong denomination. “It is the Jesus thing to do in our time,” said the Rev. Michael Louis Vono.

If approved, the liturgy—“The Witnessing and Blessing of a Lifelong Covenant”—would be used starting at the beginning of the Advent season in December, and make the Episcopal Church the largest Christian denomination in the U.S. with formal rites for same-sex unions. Currently individual dioceses can bless gay nuptials, but there is no standard blessing or ceremony.

Church leaders are quick to say the resolution isn’t an endorsement of same-sex marriage: “We have authorized a blessing, and a blessing is different than a marriage,” said a church spokesperson. “A blessing is a theological response to a monogamous, committed relationship.”

The House of Bishops also approved a proposal to include “gender identity and expression” in the church’s nondiscrimination canon, paving the way for transgender men and women to become ministers. (That proposal, too, faces a final vote.)

“I stand here as a priest today because my diocese specifically said that my gender identity and expression didn’t disqualify me from the discernment process… I ask that as a church we do the same for my trans sisters and brothers,” the Rev. Carla Robinson, a transgender vicar in Seattle, told the AP. 

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  • Hyhybt

    Progress. Never quite enough, or fast enough, to suit me… but then, they’ve got a lot of other people to drag kicking and screaming into modernity, and that means taking more time with things.

    Meanwhile, what *is* a church wedding if not a blessing of the relationship combined with signing the legal paperwork? Not calling it that just means not having to change the language in the existing ceremony that goes on about woman being made to unite with man, which works well when that’s what you’re doing but would be more than a little off as-is when the two being united are of the same sex.

    The Episcopal Church has consistently progressed from Good to Better to Better Still, even if Best Possible is still in the future.

  • ric

    Now i can say i am very proud to be a gay episcopalian. What took them so long?

  • Daez

    I really do not understand the need of intelligent LGBT people to still want the seal of approval from the sky daddy organizations. We should be better than this. Fuck all churches including those shamefully pandering to gays and lesbians to try to improve their dwindling numbers. Also, fuck those 44 people that could not reconcile their “faith” with human rights.

  • cam

    So if this passes we now will have two major branches of world religions in the U.S., Jewish and Episcopal, that celebrate gay marriage.

    Good for the Episcopalians.

    Now if the Mormons will stop funding NOM with Catholic Support, and trying to pass anti-gay bills all over the country.

  • scamandrios

    As a gay episcopalian (in Alabama of all fucking places) it disturbs me that the endless bullshit levied against my overtly gay accepting and advocating parish (along with gays in general and myself for being gay) by right-wing dick-bags that perverse Christianity with hatred somehow is eclipsed by the vitriol of anti-Christian gays who seem fixated on persecuting gay Christians a thousand times more than gay-hating “Christians”.

    Yes, Christianity has been twisted (making it Satanism in the technical sense) by hatred in many, many cases and used to deflect guilt and justify evil by far too many people. This does not mean there are not good people who are Christian or religious regardless of faith. This does not mean that it is a praise-worthy thing to return hatred and bigotry with hatred and bigotry. When one says an ignorant hateful blanket comment about a group of people and bash them all as a whole with a passionate zeal, your side of the issue or debate is lost to hate and you are just as vile as the group you focus your hatred upon. For gays to bash all Christians or all religious people in general just aids the work of the people who use and pervert religion for evil and is equally as disgusting.

    I am sorry if your religious parents were shitty people but that does not mean that all religious people are also shitty and shitting on them with your pent up angry shit will not make mommy and daddy and Pat Robertson and or the Shah of Iran be less shitty. As a persecuted minority, behaving the same as the persecuting majority would only make us the next flavor of evil, not anything better.

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