NINE SAME-GENDERED COUPLES BLESSED IN EPISCOPAL CHURCH CEREMONY
– Saturday, April 28, 2012) Nine same-gendered couples’ marriages were
blessed in a ceremony at , Ft. Lauderdale FL Fort
Lauderdale’s All Saints Episcopal Church. In 2009 the Episcopal Church’s General
Convention authorized Episcopal Bishops to choose whether to allow the blessing
of same-gendered marriages within their Dioceses. The Bishop of Southeast Florida, Leo Frade, petitioned
by the Rector of All Saints Episcopal Church, agreed to allow the blessing
ceremony to take place.
The nine couples, who were legally married in
Connecticut, New York
and the District of Columbia,
have been in committed relationships anywhere from 10-43 years.
The sanctuary was filled with more than 350 people – parishioners, friends and family of the couples, who celebrated the unions with a specific blessing for each of the couples. Children of some of the couples were also in attendance.
“We have walked a very long road to get to this moment,” said the Rev Sherod Mallow, Rector of All Saints. “We have worked and struggled for years to bring us to the place where true diversity and the celebration of the committed relationships of all our parishioners are embraced as part of God’s larger plan for his people. While the celebration service was important and meaningful for the nine couples involved, it was probably even more important for the rest of the congregation to be witnesses to examples of love and life-long commitment.”
Many denominations in the
United States have struggled with
how to include lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgendered (LGBT) people in their
congregations and church life. Some have
an ecclesiastical version of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’, or tell LGBT members that
they are welcome, but that their sexual orientation and relationships must not
be noticed or acknowledged. The
Episcopal Church, on the other hand, has attempted a “Consecration” model for
LGBT parishioners, where their sexual orientation and relationships are
embraced and life-long committed relationships are celebrated.
“It is a memorable day”, said Lorraine Michels, one of those whose marriage was blessed at the ceremony. Mallow said “we hope this will be the first – and as far as we know, this is the first blessing service to take place in the state of
Florida – of many such
blessings; as we welcome those in committed relationships to have the support
of their church community and the larger church.”
For more information contact: The Reverend Sherod Mallow at (954) 467-6496.