Marriage Equality in the Nation’s Cathedral

As noted this week on the website for the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, GLAAD:

“The National Cathedral is one of the most recognizable places of worship in the United States, drawing hundreds of thousands of visitors per year. It has also hosted many presidential inauguration services as well as the funerals for several presidents, including Ronald Regan and Gerald Ford.”

This is why it’s kind of a big deal that gay and lesbian Americans will now be able to marry in this sacred space.

USA Today reported some comments from The Very Rev. Gary Hall, dean of the National Cathedral:

I read the Bible as seriously as fundamentalists do,” Hall told the AP. “And my reading of the Bible leads me to want to do this because I think it’s being faithful to the kind of community that Jesus would have us be.”

The public and political significance of this rite in this place at this time was also noted by Hall:

“As a kind of tall-steeple, public church in the nation’s capital, by saying we’re going to bless same-sex marriages, conduct same-sex marriages, we are really trying to take the next step for marriage equality in the nation and in the culture.”

The next steps must continue to include people of faith and their institutions.

There are a lot of us.

Image via.

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About Caryn Riswold

Caryn D. Riswold is a feminist theologian in the Lutheran tradition. She is Professor of Religion and also teaches Gender and Women’s Studies at Illinois College in Jacksonville, Illinois, where she has worked for over a decade teaching undergraduates to think critically and creatively about religion. She earned her Ph.D. and Th.M. from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, holds a master’s degree from the Claremont School of Theology, and received her B.A. from Augustana College in her childhood hometown of Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

  • Chuck Anziulewicz

    To all the people who fear that marriage equality for Gay couples will mean their churches will be “forced” to provide weddings for those couples, here are some things to remember:

    1: None of the legal benefits of marriage come from the church, they come from government.

    2: Couples have never needed a church’s approval to obtain a marriage license.

    3: Churches will never be compelled to provide ceremonies for Gay couples, any more than they are compelled to provide ceremonies for Atheist or Jewish or Muslim couples.

    4: While most churches will probably be unwilling to cater to Gay couples, there are plenty of churches that are more welcoming. On the happiest day of their lives, no Gay couple will be interested in having a wedding in a place where they are met with hostility. Fortunately the Episcopal Church welcomes Gay couples.

  • pagansister

    To the best of my knowledge, as one who identifies as a UU, a Gay couple can be married in that church also. As to the National Cathedral becoming a site for the marriage of same gender couples? YES! that is great.