The Washington National Cathedral, described by the New York Times as “the nation’s unofficial capitol of worship” has announced it is available for same-sex weddings.
The Cathedral Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, as it’s properly called, is in line with the tenets of the Episcopal Church, which authorized an official ceremony for same-sex unions last summer.
The Church has seen a growing schism after it ordained openly gay Bishop Gene Robinson in 2003.
The Very Rev. Gary Hall, the dean of the Washington National Cathedral, told the Times:
“We have a lot of gay and lesbian Christians. What the National Cathedral is saying by doing this is we want to give faithful lesbian, bisexual, gay and transgender people the same tools for living their lives faithfully that straight people have always had, and marriage is one of those tools.
This comes out of even more of a theological understanding, for me, than it does out of a political agenda.”
The announcement carries a great deal of symbolic weight, as faithful from around the world attend Sunday and holiday services, including standing presidents. Both Ronald Reagan and Dwight Eisenhower were memorialized there after their deaths. It will also be the site of the second inaugural prayer service for President Obama.
Don’t expect any celebrity nuptials any time soon, though—only congregants, volunteers, donors or graduates of the cathedral’s schools are invited to wed at the cathedral.