Episcopal Church Changes Marriage Law to Include Same-Sex Marriage

Episcopal Church Changes Marriage Law to Include Same-Sex Marriage

The Episcopal Church of the US has voted to change its definition of marriage to include same-sex marriage. The decision comes after the Supreme Court’s ruling last week that legalized gay marriage across the country. 

Christian Today reports church bishops met at the church’s General Convention in Salt Lake City where they voted to change the language used in marriage ceremonies to include homosexual couples. 

The Episcopal Church will now define “Holy Matrimony” as a “physical and spiritual union between the couple.” Previously, the definition was a “physical and spiritual union of a man and a woman.” 

The change was made to accommodate "the pastoral need for priests to officiate at a civil marriage of a same-sex couple,” according to a report for the convention. 

However, the Episcopal Church’s Book of Common Prayer will keep the original language for straight couples who wish to use the traditional wording. 

Additionally, couples will no longer be required to sign a statement saying that they "solemnly declare that we hold marriage to be a lifelong union of husband and wife as it is set forth in the Book of Common Prayer.” 

Episcopal ministers will not be required to officiate same-sex marriages. 

Publication date: June 30, 2015