According to the Huffington Post, CBS News and CNN (among others), the Episcopal Cathedral Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, more familiarly known as "The National Cathedral" has announced that it will start performing same-sex marriages.
In light of the legality of same-sex marriage in the District of Columbia and now Maryland, the Rt. Rev. Mariann Edgar Budde, the Episcopal bishop of Washington, decided in December to allow an expansion of the Christian marriage sacrament. The diocese covers the district and four counties in Maryland. The change is allowed under a "local option" granted by the church's General Convention, church leaders said. Each priest in the diocese can then decide whether to perform same-sex unions.So, basically (for now) in states that have legal marriage equality, it's up to the individual priests (probably with some direction from their bishop) to decide whether to perform same-sex marriages or not. Yes, that's Bishop Mariann Budde - she is definitely a woman.
Here are some words from the Cathedral Dean:
The Very Rev. Gary Hall, the cathedral's dean, said performing same-sex marriages is an opportunity to break down barriers and build a more inclusive community "that reflects the diversity of God's world."Well said, sir. Needless to say, the comments in various links have ranged all over the place - but the fact is, one of the oldest and most storied churches in our country now recognizes the equal rights of all our citizens.
"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."
That makes two - the Cathedral Church of St. Mark in Seattle will also start performing same-sex weddings this spring.
ETA: Make that four - I believe the Cathedral in Boston also allows same-sex marriage. Thanks to sfbob for cluing me in to the Episcopal Cathedral Church of St. Luke, in Portland Maine, where Kossacks commonmass and GreenMountainBoy2 will celebrate their nuptials later this year.