Episcopal Bishops to Decide on Gay Marriage in Salt Lake City
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Episcopalians are set to vote Wednesday on allowing religious weddings for same-sex couples, just days after the U.S. Supreme Court legalized gay marriage nationwide.
In 2003, the denomination made the trailblazing move of electing the first openly gay Episcopal bishop. Since then, many dioceses have allowed their priests to perform civil same-sex weddings. Still, the church hadn't changed its own laws on marriage. The vote on gay marriage is expected around midday in Salt Lake City, where the denomination's national assembly is being held.
The proposal would eliminate gender-specific language from church laws on marriage so religious weddings can also be performed for same-sex couples. Clergy could decline to perform the ceremonies. Right now, each bishop decides whether his or her priests may conduct gay marriages.