#EpiscopalChurch

Episcopal Church Approves New Rules To Allow Same-Sex Marriage in All Dioceses

There’s good news for LGBTQ folks who belong to the Episcopal Church. 

At the Episcopal Church’s General Convention last week, a triennial event, the Church’s House of Bishops and House of Deputies approved resolution B012, which will allow gay and lesbian couples to be married in their home parish even if their local bishop has moral objections to gay marriage.

At the Church’s 2015 convention, gender-neutral marriage rites were approved for use in same-sex marriage ceremonies to be performed by clergy who were willing to participate. But, bishops were still allowed to forbid such ceremonies in their diocese if they disapproved.

Under the new resolution, which goes into effect in December, when a same-sex couple wishes to marry in a diocese where same-sex marriage is not condoned, the priest who has agreed to conduct the ceremony will be allowed to reach out to an Episcopal bishop in another diocese who can step in and provide pastoral support for the couple.

To be clear, though: no priest can be forced to perform any marriage ceremony they do not wish to be a part of.

The majority of convention attendees agreed with the solution.

From LifeSiteNews:

One priest said, “For 40 years our LGBT brothers and sisters have been at the back of the bus and, every so often, they are invited to move forward one row at a time.”

Another delegate who is a longtime pro-LGBT leader said she supported the resolution “recognizing that this is a hard-won compromise but one which I believe will lead us forward into that work as the Episcopal branch of the Jesus Movement.”

The chairman of the General Convention’s Task Force on the Study of Marriage, “implored deputies to complete convention’s actions on marriage. ‘We are fond of saying around the Episcopal Church that all are welcome, and all means all, y’all,’” according to an Episcopal News Service report.

According to the Episcopal Church website, the 8 holdout bishops who did not condone same-sex marriages were:  Albany Bishop William Love, Central Florida Bishop Greg Brewer, Dallas Bishop George Sumner, Florida Bishop John Howard, North Dakota Bishop Michael Smith, Springfield Bishop Dan Martins, Tennessee’s Bauerschmidt and U.S. Virgin Islands Bishop Ambrose Gumbs.

American Bishop Michael Curry To Give A Sermon At Prince Harrry And Meghan Markle's Wedding

This weekend’s royal wedding will get a sermon from an American priest who’s pro-marriage equality!

Everyone’s gearing up for the upcoming royal wedding between Prince Harry and actress Meghan Markle.

With the wedding less than a week away (on May 19), the official list of events and participants is coming out. One particular participant is especially interesting after knowing the royal couple and the mission they’ve announced for after they're married.

Last month, we shared with you the fact that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle promised support of LGBTQ issues after they’d tied the knot.

“Miss Markle said, and these were her exact words, ‘This is a basic human rights issue, not one about sexuality,’ ” said Australian LGBTQ rights advocate Jacob Thomas after speaking to the royal couple at the Commonwealth Youth Forum in England.

In order to properly express their good will towards LGBTQ people and rights, they’ve chosen for an pro-gay marriage priest to speak at their wedding.

It’s recently been announced by the Kensington Palace that Bishop Michael Curry, the first Afircan-American man to preside over the Episcopal Church, will be delivering a sermon at the royal wedding.

Curry is a socially progressive priest who’s sermons are often riddled with commentary on political and social justice issues. Perhaps he got this perspective from his father, the late Rev. Kenneth Curry, who was an civil rights activist that fought to end segregated schools in Buffalo, New York.

But what’s particularly of interest is that Curry often speaks on marriage equality. The North Carolinian bishop was the first to bring same-sex marriages to churches in that area.

Sadly, it seems that Curry’s, and the Episcopal Church’s, support of same-sex marriage has created strains with the Anglican Communion.

As the Washington Post reports, the archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, opposed the idea of gay marriage and in 2015 said that supporting marriage equality “will cause distress for some and have ramifications for the Anglican Communion as a whole, as well as for its ecumenical and interfaith resolutions.”

In addition, the Anglican Communion decided to suspend the Episcopal Church from key voting positions in January of 2016 for three years due to its position on marriage equality.

Curry’s response to this announcement was:

“I stand before you as a descendant of African slaves, stolen from their native land, enslaved in a bitter bondage, and then even after emancipation, segregated and excluded in church and society, and this conjures that up again, and brings pain.”

Despite these disputes, both Curry and Welby will be at the royal wedding this weekend. While Curry will be giving a sermon, Welby will be officiating.

That said, Welby had nothing but nice words to say about Curry when the announcement of his inclusion was made. On Twitter Welby said, “He is a brilliant pastor, stunning preacher and someone with a great gift for sharing the good news of Jesus Christ.”

h/t: the Washington Post