Monday, June 2, 2008

California decision puts pressure on Anglican Communion

By: George Conger.

EPISCOPAL Churches in California will begin offering gay weddings next month. On May 22, one of Los Angeles’ largest Episcopal parishes --- All Saints Church, Pasadena, announced that in light of the California Supreme Court’s decision to strike down laws barring gay marriage, it “will treat all couples presenting themselves for the rite of marriage equally.”

While Los Angeles Bishop Jon Bruno (pictured) last week welcomed the May 15 court decision, he has yet to ban rites of gay marriage, and is reported to be forming a task force to study the issue.

While a referendum that would seek to ban gay marriage is expected to be placed before California voters in November, the court ruling takes effect on June 16, permitting the civil licensing and registration of same-sex marriages.

The clergy of All Saints have been performing rites for the blessing of same-sex unions for several years. Following the court ruling, the parish vestry voted to add gay marriage to its liturgical menu. Parish rector, the Rev Ed Bacon said the decision to go ahead with gay marriage was consistent with the church’s “identity as a peace and justice church.”

“It also aligns us with the Scriptures’ mandate to make God’s love tangible by ‘doing justice and loving mercy’ (Micah 6:8) and with the canons of our Episcopal Church that forbid discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation,” he said, and demonstrated the congregation’s “stirring courage to move beyond lip service about embodying God’s inclusive love to actually committing our faith community to the practice of marriage equality.”

Read the rest here -- including clarification on Bishop Bruno's "policy" on blessings in the Diocese of Los Angeles

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