Integrity, which celebrates its 40th year in 2014, has launched an interactive map of same-sex blessing rites throughout the Episcopal Church.
“There are some real surprises in the data: the bishops of some fairly conservative dioceses have authorized the use of the rite, or are considering it,” Christian Paolina wrote in a blog post about Integrity’s findings from a survey. The post cites three blessings in the Diocese of Texas, which now takes a local-option approach to the blessings, and one example in the Diocese of Southern Virginia.
“In places where there is no civil recognition of same-sex relationships, couples often have to obtain their legal status as a couple in other states before their church can witness their vows,” Paolina added. “In places where marriage equality has been achieved, most dioceses have authorized their clergy to perform the same civil function as they do for heterosexual couples, although the church still maintains a distinction between the blessing rite and the sacrament of marriage.”
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