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

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments page of 2
 Previous    
by: hshtick from: Dallas
July 11, 2012 8:28 AM
Will be good for business, they will increase their market share. Your move Mr. Pope

by: MACDONALDBANK from: Toronto, Canada
July 11, 2012 8:11 AM
Being black, left-handed or being gay is just as natural. Bibles and the torah which includes leviticus 18:22 should be immediately banned for promoting hatred against minorities; namely the gay community and the crosses removed from all schools and churches. The evil writings in Leviticus 18:22 against gays depict; rules for temple rituals or “P” … Priestly Rules & expanded by the pope; homophobes and religious frauds to attack the gay community and never meant to apply to the public but to priests. Leviticus exists in the old testament & torah.

"It is written; so therefore it shall be? We are the chosen people? Such a wicked fantasy." To see the religious lunatics manipulate government and our lives is shameful. It is a sometimes rare occurrence to fall in Love and to hold that person in your heart and be loved in return ... it is something that should be celebrated! If it is between two guys or girls all the better. It takes even more courage to defend that LOVE! How would you like it … if hate speech was directed to your brother or sister as you sat in the pew; spewed by some better than thou religious lunatic with a hateful black book about Leviticus -- under his arm?
In Response

by: PASTOR ERNEST CHIDU from: BRAZIL
July 11, 2012 2:27 PM
MR. MCDONALDBANK, EVEN IF LEVITICUS 18 VS. 22 IS REMOVED, THE PURNISHMENT OF THIS EVIL ACT IS HELLFIRE, DON'T FORGET THIS. LET ALL THE GAYS IN THE WHOLE WORLD BE BROUGHT TO CANADA AND LET US SEE HOW THAT NATION WILL BE IN 50YEARS TO COME. "THE END". PIGS AND DOGS AS AN UNCLEAN ANIMALS DON'T EVEN INDULDGE IN SUCH AN ABOMINABLE ACTS BUT PERVERSE HUMAN BEINGS. WHAT A SHAME.
Comments page of 2
 Previous    

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs