Michael Curry, the presiding bishop of
the U.S. Episcopal Church, said Friday that the church's acceptance
of gay marriage would not be reversed despite a penalty imposed this
week by Anglican leaders.
Last year, the U.S. branch of the
Anglican Communion overwhelmingly voted to authorize in church
marriage ceremonies for gay and lesbian couples.
Anglican leaders on Thursday responded
by stripping the Episcopal Church of its leadership role for the next
“They heard from me directly that
that's not something that we're considering,” Curry
told the AP in a telephone conversation from England. “They
basically understand we made our decision, and this is who we are,
and we're committed to being a house of prayer for all.”
The issue has been brewing since the
church consecrated Gene Robinson, its first openly gay bishop, in New
Hampshire. In 2009, conservatives formed the Anglican Church in
North America, an alternative to the U.S. denomination that does not
support marriage equality.
Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby,
the spiritual leader of the Anglican community, also denounced
anti-gay violence and discrimination during a press conference held
after the meeting.
“For me, it is a constant source of
deep sadness that people are persecuted for their sexuality,” Welby
said, then added that he was “sorry” for the “hurt and pain in
the past and present that the church has caused and the love
sometimes that we have completely failed to show.”
The Anglican Church in Canada is
considering whether to follow the Episcopal Church's lead and allow
same-sex marriage. A vote is scheduled to take place in July.