The Rt. Rev. Scott Anson Benhase, Bishop of Georgia, has granted permission for clergy of his diocese to perform marriage rites for same-sex couples. Bishop Benhase has required that clergy limit their liturgies to two adapted from the Book of Common Prayer (1979).

“This all has caused a continuing dilemma for me,” the bishop writes in explaining his decision. “I can support wholeheartedly the Church’s blessing of homosexual couples. Yet, since there is no biblical warrant for homosexual marriage, I have not been able to support it. In my understanding, the Christian blessing of their relationships is a ‘good,’ and while it is similar, it is still a distinct good from Christian marriage. This has placed me at odds with most of my colleagues in the House of Bishops who are on either side of me. That could mean I am right and most of the other bishops are not, or, I am wrong and have been wrong for some time. I don’t think I am wrong or I would not hold the position I do. Yet, recognizing my own sinfulness and my capacity to rebel regularly against God’s gracious rule over my life, I have to hold that up as a real possibility.”

The bishop’s policy follows in full.

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Same-sex marriage in Diocese of Georgia