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.

You May Like

Uganda Court Annuls Anti-Gay Law

Court says law was passed in parliament without enough members present for a full quorum More

Video Thailand Makes Efforts to Improve Conditions for Migrant Laborers

In Thailand, its not uncommon for parents to bring their children to work; one company, in-collaboration with other organizations, address safety concerns More

In Indonesia, Jihad Video Raises Concern

Video calls on Indonesians to join Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, ISIL More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments page of 2
    Next 
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".

Comments page of 2
    Next 

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborersi
X
Steve Herman
August 01, 2014 6:22 PM
Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborers

Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video Public Raises its Voice on Power Plant Pollution

In the United States, proposed rules to cut pollution from the nation’s 600 coal-fired power plants are generating a heated debate. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, charged with writing and implementing the plan, has already received 300,000 written comments. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, another 1,600 people are lining up this week at EPA headquarters and at satellite offices around the country to give their testimony in person.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video China Investigates Powerful Former Security Chief

The public in China is welcoming the Communist Party's decision to investigate one of the country's once most powerful politicians, former domestic security chief Zhou Yongkang. Analysts say the move by President Xi Jinping is not only an effort to win more support for the party, but an essential step to furthering much needed economic reforms and removing those who would stand in the way of change. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.

AppleAndroid