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Author Topic: Episcopalians set to be first big U.S. church to bless gay marriage  (Read 1227 times)
HST1948
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« on: July 09, 2012, 10:10:43 pm »
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(Reuters) - The U.S. Episcopal Church is poised to become the first major religious denomination in the United States to approve a rite for blessing gay marriages after its bishops overwhelmingly approved such a liturgy on Monday.

The proposed blessing was agreed by the church's Chamber of Bishops at a meeting in Indianapolis and is expected to receive final approval from its House of Deputies later this week, Ruth Meyers, a chair of the Episcopalians' Subcommittee on Prayer Book, Liturgy and Church Music, told Reuters.

The decision would go into effect in December and make the Episcopal Church, an independent U.S.-based institution affiliated with global Anglicanism, the biggest U.S. church to allow a liturgy for same-sex marriages.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/07/10/us-usa-religion-gaymarriage-idUSBRE86902U20120710
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« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2012, 06:57:42 am »
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Does this mean all dioceses will be required to allow same sex marriages?

Does this mean all priests will be required to perform same sex marriages?
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« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2012, 11:04:38 am »
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Does this mean all dioceses will be required to allow same sex marriages?

Does this mean all priests will be required to perform same sex marriages?

No and no, although the overwhelming perception will probably be that for dioceses to not allow them for any of their priests is a huge dick move.

In any case I've read the actual text of the trial liturgy and it's kind of awful, but principally this is a very good move and contrary to what some people might say reasonably thought out theologically. Using the Blessing of a Civil Marriage route for the time being is probably the safest way to go about it.
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« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2012, 12:21:21 am »
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I'm not a fan of this, just because I'm against the idea of having a set liturgy for any type of marriage.
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« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2012, 12:26:55 am »
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I'm not a fan of this, just because I'm against the idea of having a set liturgy for any type of marriage.

But you nevertheless I hope understand the purpose of such in the Episcopal Church, which views marriage as a sacrament? This isn't technically the marriage sacrament itself but it's a way to raise a civil marriage to the level of a sacrament.

(Granted, I agree with you on the subject of this particular liturgy not being particularly well-written, but the House of Bishops amended it to make it a lot better than it was initially. The House of Deputies legal wrangling was a nailbiter but of course turned out to be bullsh**t in the end.)
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« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2012, 12:37:41 am »
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I'm not a fan of this, just because I'm against the idea of having a set liturgy for any type of marriage.

But you nevertheless I hope understand the purpose of such in the Episcopal Church, which views marriage as a sacrament? This isn't technically the marriage sacrament itself but it's a way to raise a civil marriage to the level of a sacrament.

I wouldn't support having a set liturgy for baptism or communion either, the only things in my type of tradition that would considered sacraments (though "ordinance" is the word more likely to be used), nor is there one (unless the Trinitarian formula counts, but even what the baptizing pastor asks the baptized before dunking them is basically up to them to word in whatever way they want.)

Oh and thus it can't be used in states that don't recognize same sex civil marriages? Then it's kind of discriminatory.

(Granted, I agree with you on the subject of this particular liturgy not being particularly well-written, but the House of Bishops amended it to make it a lot better than it was initially. The House of Deputies legal wrangling was a nailbiter but of course turned out to be bullsh**t in the end.)

I haven't read it, but I view having any set liturgy for this type of thing as equivalent to having some type of liturgy at a show instead of just letting the bands say whatever they want. To use a fairly crude analogy. I'm not even a fan of having the bands having designated start times! (Though I understand how it is often necessary.)
« Last Edit: July 11, 2012, 12:39:32 am by A Glass Can Only Spill What It Contains »Logged

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« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2012, 12:43:36 am »
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Oh and thus it can't be used in states that don't recognize same sex civil marriages? Then it's kind of discriminatory.

It actually can but I'm not sure in what context (it was said that almost every state is expected to have at least one diocese in which it will be in use). I think they decided that it could substitute for a marriage in that situation; in that case the fact of the committed relationship itself I guess would be what's seen as the marriage being blessed. It was for this reason that it's titled something like 'Form for Blessing a Life-Long Committed Relationship' rather than 'Form for Blessing a Civil Marriage (Same-Sex Form)'.

I'm not certain about that though. This isn't meant to be a permanent solution. It's going to be a three-year trial use and then the 78th General Convention is going to decide whether or not to add this to the canons as a form of the marriage sacrament. Believe me, nobody's under any delusion that this is an ideal way to go about it.
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« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2012, 12:45:47 am »
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...So they're also being pointlessly bureaucratic about the whole thing. And now you can see why I'm not too excited. It'd be better if they just passed a "We'll recognize and perform all same sex marriages" standard.
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« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2012, 12:51:18 am »
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...So they're also being pointlessly bureaucratic about the whole thing. And now you can see why I'm not too excited. It'd be better if they just passed a "We'll recognize and perform all same sex marriages" standard.

That's exactly what they did, using pointlessly bureaucratic language to avoid the problems of changing the canons or the BCP, which can take a while. Anybody who has this ceremony done will be viewed as tantamount to married under the canons. (The chance of the 78th General Convention walking this back is negligible considering how overwhelmingly it passed.)
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« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2012, 09:51:23 am »
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Good for them. Hopefully the Catholic church will follow in their footsteps 2 or 3 popes from now.
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« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2012, 10:25:50 am »
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Good for them. Hopefully the Catholic church will follow in their footsteps 2 or 3 popes from now.

I think we may have to suffer one or two African/developing world Popes who doctrinally strengthen Catholic rhetoric against gays before the church takes a progressive step in any direction.
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« Reply #11 on: July 11, 2012, 10:47:17 am »
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Good for them. Hopefully the Catholic church will follow in their footsteps 2 or 3 popes from now.

You could just convert to Episcopalianism and not have to wait you know...
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« Reply #12 on: July 11, 2012, 11:49:05 am »
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Wait... I'm confused... is the Episcopalian church saying this is the sacrament of marriage or just some random blessing?
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« Reply #13 on: July 11, 2012, 12:42:01 pm »
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Wait... I'm confused... is the Episcopalian church saying this is the sacrament of marriage or just some random blessing?

There's a less clear distinction in Episcopalian theology than in the Roman Catholic Church, but it's tentatively both.
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« Reply #14 on: July 11, 2012, 08:15:54 pm »
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Good for them. Hopefully the Catholic church will follow in their footsteps 2 or 3 popes from now.

You could just convert to Episcopalianism and not have to wait you know...

I'll never formally convert, but I have been going to Episcopal mass with my wife lately.  Good thing I never got around to learning the new Catholic mass ("consubstantial with the Father?" come on...), since now I have a third version to learn.

That said, I don't think there's going to be any gay weddings soon in any kind of church around here, Episcopal or otherwise.  The Episcopal priest who married us actually made alluded to being against gay marriage in a few comments during the premarital counseling, so I'm really curious if he'll be required to perform them under the new rules, or if the entire Mississippi diocese will be able to disallow them.
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« Reply #15 on: July 11, 2012, 09:43:12 pm »
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Good for them. Hopefully the Catholic church will follow in their footsteps 2 or 3 popes from now.

You could just convert to Episcopalianism and not have to wait you know...

I'll never formally convert, but I have been going to Episcopal mass with my wife lately.  Good thing I never got around to learning the new Catholic mass ("consubstantial with the Father?" come on...), since now I have a third version to learn.

That said, I don't think there's going to be any gay weddings soon in any kind of church around here, Episcopal or otherwise.  The Episcopal priest who married us actually made alluded to being against gay marriage in a few comments during the premarital counseling, so I'm really curious if he'll be required to perform them under the new rules, or if the entire Mississippi diocese will be able to disallow them.

The latter. It's recommended but, since it's provisional, bishops don't have to try it out just yet.
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« Reply #16 on: July 11, 2012, 11:56:17 pm »
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http://www.gaychurch.org/Find_a_Church/united_states/us_mississippi.htm

More than half are Episcopal. Not sure if any are where near Harry lives though. The simple low number is kind of depressing though, There are almost six times as many churches listed in just the city of Minneapolis, which is about 1/8 of Mississippi's population. Even more conservative North Dakota has slightly more than Mississippi (including my parents' church) despite 1/4 the population...

The premise of having to memorize things that are done at church to me is just really weird too. I even feel weird at churches where during the handshaking people just say "Peace be with you/and also with you." because at mine we're just more natural and say just something like "good morning" or "hi, I'm *name*."
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« Reply #17 on: July 12, 2012, 11:43:57 am »
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with my wife

I don't remember that happening.  Well!  If you announced it here, I probably *hughughug*ed you already, but have an extra just in case!  *hughughug* Grin Cheesy Grin
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« Reply #18 on: July 19, 2012, 05:09:33 pm »
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I personally dupport a ban on gay marriage and do not think the government should recognize it, but Ido support civil unions.  This is exactly the way it should be.  Let the churches approve of them, but don't put the government in the position of approving homosexual marriages. 
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« Reply #19 on: July 19, 2012, 06:43:54 pm »
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Good for them! This is what, step three on the hundreds up from religion towards sanity? But hey, a step is a step. Tongue
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« Reply #20 on: July 19, 2012, 06:55:41 pm »
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Good for them! This is what, step three on the hundreds up from religion towards sanity? But hey, a step is a step. Tongue

Religion qua religion is neither sane nor insane, and certainly not in a binary with either.
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« Reply #21 on: July 19, 2012, 07:10:21 pm »
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Good for them! This is what, step three on the hundreds up from religion towards sanity? But hey, a step is a step. Tongue
Religion qua religion is neither sane nor insane, and certainly not in a binary with either.

That, I suspect, is something we will forever disagree on. Wink
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« Reply #22 on: July 19, 2012, 07:22:51 pm »
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Good for them! This is what, step three on the hundreds up from religion towards sanity? But hey, a step is a step. Tongue
Religion qua religion is neither sane nor insane, and certainly not in a binary with either.

That, I suspect, is something we will forever disagree on. Wink

It's all right. Sanity is a constructed concept anyway.
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« Reply #23 on: July 19, 2012, 07:48:59 pm »
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Good for them! This is what, step three on the hundreds up from religion towards sanity? But hey, a step is a step. Tongue
Religion qua religion is neither sane nor insane, and certainly not in a binary with either.
That, I suspect, is something we will forever disagree on. Wink
It's all right. Sanity is a constructed concept anyway.

True
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« Reply #24 on: July 20, 2012, 06:41:00 am »
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I personally dupport a ban on gay marriage and do not think the government should recognize it, but Ido support civil unions.  This is exactly the way it should be.  Let the churches approve of them, but don't put the government in the position of approving homosexual marriages. 

Why not allow the churches to disapprove, but don't put the government in the position of disapproving?
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