The Rev. Gary Hall, dean of The National Cathedral in the District of Columbia, on Sunday labeled homophobia a sin.

“Homophobia is sin,” Hall declared during a special Holy Eucharist in honor of LGBT youth. “Shaming people for whom they love is a sin. Shaming people because their gender identity doesn't fit neatly into your sense of what it should be is a sin. Only when all our churches say that clearly and boldly and courageously will our LGBT youth be free to grow up in a culture that totally embraces them fully as they are.”

The service was part of a series of events to commemorate the death of Matthew Shepard, the college student thought to have been murdered because of his sexual orientation.

Responding to The Christian Post's question on whether he felt homosexuality is a sin, Hall, the tenth dean of the Episcopal Church's cathedral, responded that it is “not for me to say.”

“The Scriptures devote little space or energy to sexual relationships, and we have read our own obsession with sexual issues back onto the text,” Hall said. “When I look to Jesus, I see someone who was compassionate, empathetic, and inviting to all people regardless of their status. For me to say that I believe homophobia to be a sin does not mean that I will stop talking to people with a different understanding of sexuality than I have.”

(Related: Washington National Cathedral to perform gay weddings.)