Des Moines Register
September 27, 2009
ALAN SCARFE is the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Iowa. Contact: ascarfe@ iowaepiscopal.org
The Episcopal Church held its triennial General Convention in Anaheim in July. The focus of the media and the worldwide Anglican Communion of which the church is a constituent member was on what we would do on matters of human sexuality. Regardless of the fact that the Archbishop of Canterbury, the leader of the communion, came to deliver a keynote speech on the spiritual and ethical challenges of the economic crisis, even he responded after the convention on the two resolutions on same-gender couples.
Iowa finds itself along with the dioceses of the five New England states where equal marriage is upheld in the forefront of the church's conversation on marriage equality. Faith communities are deciding what this means to their traditions or what it does not. Many faith communities have long awaited the chance to celebrate civil marriage for same-gender couples. The Episcopal Church has been engaged with this for more than 30 years - almost alone among churches of the Catholic tradition. That Episcopal couples were among those cited in the Iowa State Supreme Court Ruling is significant.
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