Legal, Civil, Religious

The Bishop of New York and the Bishop Co-Adjutor have just decreed that same sex weddings may be celebrated in church and, provided that the couples have obtained the proper New York State marriage licenses, these marriages will be legal in the eyes of both church and state.

I have written about this issue many times for many years and will not go on further now. Bishop Mark Sisk held back where other bishops allowed such ceremonies because he was hoping for some global Anglican compromise–or at least, an agreement to disagree. Meanwhile, anti-gay bishops, especially in Africa, seem to moving toward separation from the Archbishop of Canterbury, and they give no indication of any reasonable compromise that would allow them to stay. In other words, there is nothing to gain by diluting our own convictions.

One final comment: both bishops note that not all Episcopalians agree with same-sex marriage in church, and they recognize that this reflects a novel development of doctrine. Those of us who favor the change would do well to remember that fellow church members may still be struggling with the issue. Triumphalism in this area of church life, as in others, is not to commended. —J. Douglas Ousley

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