Often a symbol of religious America, the Cathedral’s inclusion of marriage equality into it’s rituals signifies how far the LGBT movement has come in just a few decades. The leaders of this church wish to “embrace same-sex marriage as a tool for faithful people to live their lives as Christian people. For us to be able to say that, at a moment when so many other barriers toward full equality and full inclusion for gay and lesbian people are falling, I think it is an important symbolic moment,” the Very Rev. Gary Hall told the AP.
Weddings won’t begin immediately, as the church is a popular venue for parishioners and is scheduled well in advance, and the church requires pre-marital counseling. It may take six months to a year before the first LGBT marriages occur in the cathedral.
Cue right-wing outrage in 3… 2… 1…
From the AP report:
As the nation’s most prominent church, the decision carries huge symbolism. The 106-year-old cathedral has long been a spiritual center for the nation, hosting presidential inaugural services and funerals for Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford. It draws hundreds of thousands of visitors.
In light of the legality of same-sex marriage in the District of Columbia and now Maryland, the Rt. Rev. Mariann Edgar Budde, the Episcopal bishop of Washington, decided in December to allow an expansion of the Christian marriage sacrament. The diocese covers the district and four counties in Maryland. The change is allowed under a “local option” granted by the church’s General Convention, church leaders said. Each priest in the diocese can then decide whether to perform same-sex unions.