The Episcopal Church will allow
religious weddings for gay and lesbian couples.
At its Episcopal General Convention in
Salt Lake City on Wednesday, Episcopalians voted overwhelmingly for
Only a small minority of active and
retired bishops of the Episcopal Church (26 out of 129) voted against
the change on Tuesday. The following day, deputies approved the
changes with a 173-27 vote, the AP reported.
The vote comes just days after the
Supreme Court declared gay couples have a constitutional right to
marry in all 50 states.
“For the lesbian, gay, bisexual and
transgender people in our congregations now know under the eyes of
God and in every single state in this blessed country, they are
welcome to receive all the sacraments,” said the Rev. Bonnie Perry
of Chicago, who is openly gay and married.
Clergy who disagree with the new rules,
which take effect November 29, can decline to marry gay couples.
The Episcopal Church is the third
mainline Protestant church after the United Church of Christ and the
Presbyterian Church (USA) to allow such unions. The Evangelical
Lutheran Church in America allows individual congregations to decide