Episcopalians OK Same-Sex Marriage Blessings

July 17, 2009 - 5:20 PM
Episcopalians are allowing bishops to decide whether to bless same-sex marriages. They'll also start researching an official prayer service for gay couples.
Anaheim, Calif. (AP) - Episcopalians are allowing bishops to decide whether to bless same-sex marriages. They'll also start researching an official prayer service for gay couples.
 
The Episcopal General Convention voted for the policy Friday, the last day of their meeting in Anaheim, Calif. The gay union prayers will be studied then considered at the next convention in three years.
 
Earlier, delegates lifted a pledge to act with restraint when considering any more openly gay candidates for bishop.
 
The votes toward accepting gay relationships will add to the turmoil between the Episcopal Church and its fellow Anglicans overseas.
 
The Anglican Communion has been splintering since 2003, when Episcopalians consecrated the first openly gay bishop.