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Washington National Cathedral to Perform Same-Sex Marriages


Rev. Gary Hall, dean of the Washington National Cathedral, stands outside the church in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013.

Rev. Gary Hall, dean of the Washington National Cathedral, stands outside the church in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013.

One of the most prominent churches in the United States will begin hosting same-sex marriages.

Leaders of the Washington National Cathedral announced the new policy on Wednesday. National Cathedral Reverend Gary Hall said it was an honor to take the next step toward greater equality.

The majestic cathedral is the seat of the Episcopal Church's Washington, D.C. diocese, which includes areas of the neighboring state of Maryland. Voters in that state approved an amendment that legalizes gay marriage in a November election. Same-sex marriages were legalized in Washington in 2009.

The Episcopal Church has taken major steps in recent years to embrace homosexuals, including the ordination of gay clergy. The church recently approved a special marriage rite that specifically blesses same-sex marriage.

The century-old National Cathedral has hosted inaugural services for U.S. presidents including Franklin Roosevelt and Barack Obama, as well as the state funerals of former presidents Dwight Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford.
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