Episcopal Bishops OK Trial Gay Blessing Prayer; Full Church Affirms Transgender Ordination

Associated Press
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July 10, 2012

Episcopal bishops approved an official prayer service for blessing same-sex couples Monday at a national convention that also cleared the way for transgender ordination.

At the Episcopal General Convention in Indianapolis, the House of Bishops voted 111-41, with three abstentions, to authorize a provisional rite for same-sex unions for the next three years. The liturgy next goes to convention’s deputies for their authorization.

In a separate vote Monday, the full convention approved new anti-discrimination language for transgendered clergy candidates and church members. Some dioceses already ordain transgendered people or elect them to positions of parish leadership. However, advocates for the amendment argued they needed an explicit statement of acceptance as the churchwide policy.