Washington National Cathedral to marry same-sex couples

Washington National Cathedral to marry same-sex couples January 11, 2013

Such great news!

The Washington National Cathedral has announced that it will begin celebrating weddings of gay and lesbian couples inside the historic church.

In a released statement from the cathedral, its leadership states the church has a “long history of advancing equality for people of all faiths and perspectives. The Cathedral is called to serve as a gathering place for the nation in times of significance, but it is also rooted in its role as the most visible faith community within the Episcopal Church.

“For more than 30 years, the Episcopal Church has prayed and studied to discern the evidence of God’s blessing in the lives of same-sex couples. It is now only fitting that the National Cathedral follow suit.

“We enthusiastically affirm each person as a beloved child of God—and doing so means including the full participation of gays and lesbians in the life of this spiritual home for the nation.”

Viewed by close to half a million visitors annually, the iconic church has held presidential funerals, inaugural prayer services and other historic events. The church will host of the prayer service for the presidential inauguration this month.

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  • Curtis

    Given that the National Cathedral was set up by the Episcopal church and is still managed by them, I guess this is no surprise. Evangelicals have given up on the National Cathedral years ago. The only surprise is why Evangelicals have not set up their own National Church somewhere in D.C. I guess that is what they have been trying to do to the United States Capitol for the last 30 years. If we gave Evangelicals their own national church, do you think they would finally leave the Capitol building alone?

    • Curtis, evangelicals already have a cathedral in D.C. It’s the office of The Family Research Council on G Street, headed by their bishop, Tony Perkins.

  • Ken B

    I see Tony’s celebration over landing the National Cathedral as a venue for gay weddings demonstrating how his version of Christianity, like Jim Wallis’, seeks to occupy the seat of power and influence held by evangelicals until recently, and held by Mainstream Protestantism before that.

    • Craig

      My celebration is that the evangelicals are getting pushed from the “seat of power.” Evangelicals and power are a particularly bad combination. My first wish, however, would be for no particular religious sect to occupy any such seat.

    • Curtis

      The idea of the National Cathedral, according to the architect that planned for it, was to have a place of worship for and by the people. Just as our government is for and by the people. It was not envisioned with any particular denomination or church in mind. It did so happen that, given the religious nature of the building, no federal money was allocated for its construction. Episcopalians happened to have enough money at the time to get the project done, and so they built it.

      I can think of no better role for a National Cathedral than to be a place of celebration for all Americans, as it was originally envisioned. I’m sure everyone else is welcome as well, as they have always been.

  • T. Webb

    From the “LGBT Ally” post, when are they going to start performing marriages between multiple partners, so that Bisexuals can be included? When will we support marriage for ALL?

    • Craig

      Are you confusing bisexuality with polygamy/polyandry?

      • T. Webb

        Craig, I don’t understand your question… is that supposed to be an either/or choice? There are many bisexuals who by nature of their sexual orientation do not want to be forced into a relationship of only two. Google “triad marriage” if you don’t believe it. Moreover, more identify themselves as bisexual than gay/lesbian. My point is, allowing for / approving gay marriage does not necessarily entail support for bisexuals. Allowing for polyamory (a better term than polygamy or polyandry, as it may entail multiple persons of multiple genders) opens marriage to _all_. Feel free to correct me, as I’m often wrong.

        • Craig

          Hi T. Webb. Thanks for this response. Polyamory is already allowed, I take it. I think your concern is for what could be called “polyadic marriage” of which polygamy and polyandry would be variations, and not the only ones. Such marriages would involve new complications, such that there may be reasons to legislatively oppose them that aren’t reasons to legislatively oppose same-sex marriage. Maybe the additional complications are surmountable, but that would be a discussion we could, and probably should, keep separate in policy discussions.

          I’m not convinced that bisexuality introduces any fundamentally distinct considerations (heterosexuals, “oriented” towards having multiple concurrent partners with whom they have marriage-like commitments, may likewise value the option of polyadic marriage). I may well be wrong. I haven’t given it all that much thought to it and I’d be happy to learn something. I think it’s all very much worth thinking about.

          • T. Webb

            Craig, I appreciate your comments. I agree that polyamory is already allowed, but homosexuality is also already allowed. Homosexual marriage is not yet widely allowed, however. By the same token, “polyadic” marriage is not allowed in America. However, it is starting to arise. Google “triad marriage” for example. Perhaps not all bisexuals want to marry multiple partners, but some do. Until we include marriage for multiple partners, we do not allow marriage for all.

            Thanks again for your comments, I appreciate them.