Episcopal Same-sex Couples Can Now Marry in Their Home Parish

More Epsicopal LGBT couples can feel included instead of alienated.

Same-sex marriage restrictions were removed in entirety by the Episcopal Church. All couples, irrespective of gender, can now take wedding vows where they worship. This decision was taken by leaders of the Episcopal Church on July 13. They met in Austin as part of their triennial convention. This controversial resolution was adopted by House of Deputies and House of Bishops, the two components making up the church's bicameral governing body

As per the new rule, any couple can ask for gender-neutral marriage practices in the church where the couple worships. These practices were previously approved during the Episcopal Church's 2015 convention. Approval is given only for trial use. Even if same-sex weddings are opposed by the local church, the parish priest could conduct the necessary ceremonies, asking for "pastoral support" from another diocese bishop if required. The July 13 decision overrides any local decision made by individual churches. The conservative line is now promoted by only eight of the 101 Episcopal dioceses in the United States: Virgin Islands, Albany, N.Y., Dallas, Springfield, Illinois, Florida, North Dakota, Central Florida, and Tennessee.

The Long Island, N.Y. Bishop, Lawrence Provenzano, who assisted to write the resolution, said the new arrangement offers more LGBT couples' inclusion without conservation alienation. The previous version of the resolution would have made gay marriage a component of official theology by the insertion of new liturgies in Book of Common Prayer.

Many in the Episcopal Church congregation have approved such developments. Davies Penley, a congregant, said that it is an excellent compromise, where the bishop's dignity and position are respected, but same-sex marriage is permitted for home congregations. The amended version enjoys wide support among the church's governing group. Radical changes, many in the church believe, would have been a quick step for conservatives to stomach. They cite Biblical opposition to same-sex marriages, and a substantial section have even threatened to exit the denomination rather than succumb to this issue.

A few convention delegates supporting equality in marriage found fault with such a resolution. One bishop worried that LGBT Episcopalians may feel like inferior citizens sans the official adoption of new marriage liturgies within Book of Common Prayer. Several Bishops felt that the liturgies would soon be added, if not later. Resolution opponents were concerned that such a step torpedoes the authority of bishops and greater chances of schism within the Episcopal Church.

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