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Episcopalians OK allowing gay marriage in churches

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  • Episcopalians OK allowing gay marriage in churches

    SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The Episcopal Church has completed its embrace of gay rights, changing church law to allow same-sex religious marriages throughout the denomination, just days after the U.S. Supreme Court legalized gay marriage nationwide.

    The new policy won overwhelming approval from the top Episcopal legislative body Wednesday, following decades of debate and conflict. It came 12 years after the denomination blazed a trail by electing the first openly gay bishop.

    "To finally get to this day is an incredible moment," said the Rev. Cynthia Black, of Morristown, New Jersey, a lesbian who has been campaigning for gay acceptance for years. "It is the beginning. It is not the end. There will still be people excluded, but at least we've gotten to this point."

    The vote came in Salt Lake City at the Episcopal General Convention. Many dioceses in the New York-based church of nearly 1.9 million members already had been allowing their priests to perform civil same-sex weddings, using a trial prayer service to bless the couple. Still, the church hadn't changed its own laws on marriage until Wednesday.

    The new law eliminates gender-specific language on marriage so same-sex couples could have religious weddings. Instead of "husband" and "wife," for example, the new church law will refer to "the couple." Clergy can decline to perform the ceremonies.
    AP - Full Article

  • #2
    I'm not au fait with the structure of the Episcopalian Church in the US so I wouldn't assume this will apply to all diocese. If it matches the structure of the Anglican church internationally it won't. Individual diocese have a fair bit of latitude when it comes to ordaining women, openly gat clergy etc. In Australia the Sydney diocese is extremely conservative and won't even permit women clergy to lead services, let alone ordain them. Others are extremely liberal by comparison. I suspect this ruling is more of a signal to the Church in the US that it is OK to marry gay couples rather than a directive that they must.

    What this does point out is that there isn't any bar on gay couples getting a religious wedding provided they are not too particular about which denomination does the marrying. As an ordained minister of religion I would be able to marry people if I were resident in a number of US states. The only thing standing in the way of this for a while now has been government.
    Human beings are the only creatures on Earth that claim a god and the only living thing that behaves like it hasn't got one - Hunter S. Thompson

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Daemon of Decay View Post
      ............and, what are your thoughts on this?
      "I don't discuss sitting presidents," Mattis tells NPR in an interview. "I believe that you owe a period of quiet."

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Nichols View Post
        ............and, what are your thoughts on this?
        Sounds alright to me. I'm not into churches, but I imagine having more people involved would be a positive thing.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by BF69 View Post
          I'm not au fait with the structure of the Episcopalian Church in the US so I wouldn't assume this will apply to all diocese. If it matches the structure of the Anglican church internationally it won't. Individual diocese have a fair bit of latitude when it comes to ordaining women, openly gat clergy etc. In Australia the Sydney diocese is extremely conservative and won't even permit women clergy to lead services, let alone ordain them. Others are extremely liberal by comparison. I suspect this ruling is more of a signal to the Church in the US that it is OK to marry gay couples rather than a directive that they must.

          What this does point out is that there isn't any bar on gay couples getting a religious wedding provided they are not too particular about which denomination does the marrying. As an ordained minister of religion I would be able to marry people if I were resident in a number of US states. The only thing standing in the way of this for a while now has been government.
          In the end, would it not be at the discretion of the individual priest ?
          "I dogmatise and am contradicted, and in this conflict of opinions and sentiments I find delight".
          Samuel Johnson.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by BELGRAVE View Post
            In the end, would it not be at the discretion of the individual priest ?
            Well the last line of my post states: "Clergy can decline to perform the ceremonies."

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            • #7
              The irony here is how the Episcopal Church came to be. It is the American version of the Anglican Church, Anglicanism is a tradition within Christianity comprising the Church of England. The Church of England was formed because King Henry VIII wanted to get rid of his wife, Catherine of Aragon and marry his mistress Anne Boleyn. The bottom line, the church was founded on Henry’s unwillingness to submit to the church’s teaching on marriage and sexuality.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Nichols View Post
                ............and, what are your thoughts on this?

                My thoughts; I am not surprised at all.


                Stance on homosexuality
                The Episcopal Church affirmed at the 1976 General Convention that homosexuals are "children of God" who deserve acceptance and pastoral care from the church and equal protection under the law. Despite the affirmation of gay rights, the General Convention affirmed in 1991 that "physical sexual expression" is only appropriate within the monogamous, lifelong "union of husband and wife".[49] The first openly homosexual priest, Ellen Barrett, was ordained in 1977.[50] The first openly homosexual bishop, Gene Robinson, was elected in June 2003.[51] Robinson's election caused a crisis in both the American church and the wider Anglican Communion. In October 2003, an emergency meeting of the Anglican primates (the heads of the Anglican Communion's 38 member churches) was convened. The meeting's final communiqué included the warning that if Robinson's consecration proceeded, it would "tear the fabric of the communion at its deepest level".[52]

                In 2009, the General Convention charged the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music to develop theological and liturgical resources for same-sex blessings and report back to the General Convention in 2012. It also gave bishops an option to provide "generous pastoral support", especially where civil authorities have legalized same-gender marriage, civil unions, or domestic partnerships.[53]

                On July 14, 2009, the Episcopal Church's House of Bishops voted that "any ordained ministry" is open to gay men and lesbians.[54] The New York Times said the move was "likely to send shockwaves through the Anglican Communion."[54]

                This vote ended a moratorium on ordaining gay bishops passed in 2006 and passed in spite of Archbishop Rowan Williams's personal call at the start of the convention that, "I hope and pray that there won't be decisions in the coming days that will push us further apart."[54]
                https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Episco...(United_States)

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by BELGRAVE View Post
                  In the end, would it not be at the discretion of the individual priest ?
                  Strictly speaking I don't think so. I imagine that a priest in a diocese that accepted same sex marriage could refuse, but that a priest in a diocese that rejects same sex marriage would not perform one. I could be wrong, but my bet is that if a priest in Sydney tried this he would put his job at risk.
                  Human beings are the only creatures on Earth that claim a god and the only living thing that behaves like it hasn't got one - Hunter S. Thompson

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                  • #10
                    It's their call, their business. I don't judge and am pretty neutral on the issue. Don't want them trying to force priests to go through with it though. People should have as much right to oppose gay marriage as they have a right to support it.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by BF69 View Post
                      Strictly speaking I don't think so. I imagine that a priest in a diocese that accepted same sex marriage could refuse, but that a priest in a diocese that rejects same sex marriage would not perform one. I could be wrong, but my bet is that if a priest in Sydney tried this he would put his job at risk.
                      Yes, but the conservative nature of the Sydney diocese is well-known in Anglican circles,as you know. Outside of there, I suppose it might even depend upon the traditions of the individual parish. The more "evangelical" the less likely,perhaps.
                      "I dogmatise and am contradicted, and in this conflict of opinions and sentiments I find delight".
                      Samuel Johnson.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by BELGRAVE View Post
                        Yes, but the conservative nature of the Sydney diocese is well-known in Anglican circles,as you know. Outside of there, I suppose it might even depend upon the traditions of the individual parish. The more "evangelical" the less likely,perhaps.
                        What would be interesting is if the parish is more liberal or more conservative than the priest. While I haven't been keeping track for a while, I know that Sydney, courtesy of its control of the major Anglican theological college in Australia, had a disproportionate influence on the tone of the education priests received. I suppose it isn't an really an issue until our disgrace of a government gets out of the way & lets Parliament vote on this.
                        Human beings are the only creatures on Earth that claim a god and the only living thing that behaves like it hasn't got one - Hunter S. Thompson

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by BF69 View Post
                          What would be interesting is if the parish is more liberal or more conservative than the priest. While I haven't been keeping track for a while, I know that Sydney, courtesy of its control of the major Anglican theological college in Australia, had a disproportionate influence on the tone of the education priests received. I suppose it isn't an really an issue until our disgrace of a government gets out of the way & lets Parliament vote on this.
                          Yes. But usually care is taken so that the priest incumbent's churchmanship matches the traditions of the parish -at least in Melbourne.

                          My father was a clergyman of Anglo-Catholic ("High") church persuasion and the parishes he operated in had a similar collective outlook.

                          His attitude to same-sex matrimony can only be speculative.
                          "I dogmatise and am contradicted, and in this conflict of opinions and sentiments I find delight".
                          Samuel Johnson.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            However we look at it, it is here and gaining acceptance. Same sex marriages are now a fact of life and must be accepted as such regardless of our individual feelings on the matter.

                            The world has changed, for better or for worse has yet to be determined, but I think that in the future, those of us who hold traditional beliefs will be regarded as social dinosaurs.


                            Happily, I won't be around to see that.
                            Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by BELGRAVE View Post
                              Yes. But usually care is taken so that the priest incumbent's churchmanship matches the traditions of the parish -at least in Melbourne.
                              My father was a clergyman of Anglo-Catholic ("High") church persuasion and the parishes he operated in had a similar collective outlook.

                              His attitude to same-sex matrimony can only be speculative.
                              I suppose it comes down to the availability of priests relative to the number of churches. It may not be possible to make the ideal match.
                              Human beings are the only creatures on Earth that claim a god and the only living thing that behaves like it hasn't got one - Hunter S. Thompson

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