News / USA

    US Episcopal Church Approves Blessing of Same-Sex Couples

    Jason Welker (L) and Scott Everhart pose with their bands on top of an X-Men comic book after exchanging wedding vows at a comic book retail shop in Manhattan, New York June 20, 2012.
    Jason Welker (L) and Scott Everhart pose with their bands on top of an X-Men comic book after exchanging wedding vows at a comic book retail shop in Manhattan, New York June 20, 2012.
    VOA News
    The U.S. Episcopal Church has approved a new worship service to bless same-sex couples, becoming the largest religious denomination in the United States to accept the union of homosexual couples.  

    The church's House of Deputies, which is split equally between clergy and lay leaders, approved the blessing Tuesday by a vote of 171-50 at the national convention in Indianapolis.  The House of Bishops passed the new policy on Monday by a vote of 111-41.

    The new blessing, called "The Witnessing and Blessing of a Lifelong Covenant," includes prayers and an exchange of vows and rings - but does not mention the word "marriage."  The blessing will be introduced in early December, and will be evaluated for a three-year period until the next convention.

    Local bishops can decide whether or not to allow the service and local priests will not be disciplined if they refuse to perform the ceremony.

    Tuesday's vote is the latest move by the U.S. Episcopal Church, which has a membership of two million people, towards embracing homosexuality.  The church elected  its first openly gay bishop in 2003, which created a split in the denomination and angered leaders in the worldwide Anglican community.  

    The United Church of Christ is the only major denomination in the United States to officially recognize same-sex marriage.

    Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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    by: Godwin from: Nigeria
    July 12, 2012 1:27 PM
    We can only say it's a pity that America is decaying. If the church can do this, then the motto, God's own country, should change to Devil's Own, for that's what USA has become, crowned by the president's acceptance of what is evil as normal. Our prayers for them out here is may all their people become gay, let there be no one to descend from them, their country another take. This is happening already as Americans of USA no longer produce children but adopt Arabs and Iranians who will soon populate the country. Like Judas they are burst and gushed away, no recuperation. The story will soon be, "Once upon a time there was a country..." Everything in the USA is made in hell, president and people.

    by: An atheist in Nebraska from: Nebraska
    July 11, 2012 4:04 PM
    To Tina: And the New Testament (the one Christians claim "replaces" the Old) also holds in 1 Cor:
    11:5 But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven.
    11:6 For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered.
    11:7 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.
    Do you wear your Christian version of a burka in church? Please don't foist off your religion on our secular government, Church/State separation is the best protection churches have.

    by: Tina from: Arkansas
    July 11, 2012 12:00 PM
    The Lord Jesus Christ gave his life "to cleanse us from sin" and sets us free, to sin no more. These people are drawning in their sins. No one in Christ Jesus believes what is happening is of him. He did not make sin a pure thing. Dead to sin alive in Christ Jesus The Lord. Don't be fooled!

    by: Bible Believer from: USA
    July 11, 2012 11:05 AM
    Same sex marriage is an abomination in the eyes of the Lord - Leviticus 20:13 Leviticus 18:22 It is a sign of the end times - Luke 17:26-30 It shall bring divine judgement - Jeremiah 50:40 Romans 1:27 True Christians must "come out of her" (the false churches US Episcopal and United Church of Christ) - Revelation 18:4; Jeremiah 51:45 Please visit the below link to understand the times we are living in according to the scriptures: http://www.believethesign.com/intro.htm

    by: Raj from: Arkansas
    July 11, 2012 9:24 AM
    Oh Lord, what's wrong with these people. ignoring your commands. people please do not miss-interpret the BIBLE. so sad that SIN is taking over this country. We have no respect to God our Savior Jesus Christ who died for all of us. Reconcile before him let HIM lead you in right path. Not our emotions or culture. God has given us the freedom but at the same time he is telling us not to miss use our freedom. May our Lord enable all of our hearts to see the truth and the truth is only only only in HIM. And to LIVE BY THE TRUTH TO BRING GLORY TO HIS NAME. THANK YOU

    by: Paula from: Midwest
    July 11, 2012 9:15 AM
    Well good for them! It's about time people are not shunned because they're different!

    by: BOS-ED from: Boston
    July 11, 2012 9:07 AM
    Sad day for the body... Great evidence of how successful the evil one has used sex, sexual perversion, and lust to carry his abomination into "Christian" churches. I would say this church needs a revival. They should open their Bibles, read with their eyes, pray, remove the lay leaders and perhaps may be blessed with the opening of their eyes! Sad day and a problem for us all when the church tries to normalize this sin as a blessing. Deceives believers, mocks the them.

    by: mike from: NY
    July 11, 2012 8:51 AM
    I can't understand the photo choice for this article. Mixing the green lantern story line change by DC comics and the church's decision to bless ceremonies is confusing at best.

    by: William Smith from: New York City
    July 11, 2012 8:45 AM
    ...do the "bride and groom" have those wedding garments with the "button-up" FLAP in the back too...? (and) was there a "best Gay" and Lesbian of honor...?

    by: Rainier Vidale from: Basye, Virginia
    July 11, 2012 8:32 AM
    Thank you ! A wonderful acknowledgement of God's love at work in all our lives, and in our common humanity, and also that God's Grace is not just for the "Frozen Chosen".
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