Wedding bells are ringing for marriage equality in one of the country's most prominent churches.
Today is a momumental day for gay rights.
According to a report by ABC News, the National Cathedral has concluded that, effective immediately, they will officiate same-sex marriages.
"For more than 30 years, the Episcopal Church has prayed and studied to discern the evidence of God’s blessing in the lives of same-sex couples," says Reverend Gary Hall of the National Cathedral. “We enthusiastically affirm each person as a beloved child of God — and doing so means including the full participation of gays and lesbians in the life of this spiritual home for the nation.”
The Episcopal Church began recognizing same-sex marriage through a ceremony they adapted from an existing blessing ceremony in August of 2012. They are now among the first of few churches to recognize marriage for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender couples.
"In my 35 years of ordained ministry, some of the most personally inspiring work I have witnessed has been among gay and lesbian communities where I have served," he says. Adding that he is honored to lead his cathedral in taking this historic step toward equality for all.
Same-sex weddings officiated within the National Cathedral will follow the same standards and protocol as traditional Christian marriages; at least on member of the couple must have been baptized and the couple must be active members of the congregation unless the dean has stated otherwise.
To allow same-sex marriages in the same venue that celebrates United States presidents is a big deal — and hopefully symbolic of where the country is headed regarding the gay marriage debate. This accomplishment adds more support for marriage equality at a crucial time, as the Supreme Court plans to hear same-sex marriage cases this March.
Hats off to you, National Cathedral. We hope to see many more religious groups follow suit in the near future.
What are your thoughts on this decision?
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