A new approved rite is established nine years after the Episcopal Church appointed its first openly gay bishop.
Supporters of the same-sex blessings insisted it was not a marriage ceremony despite any similarities. Called “The Witnessing and Blessing of a Lifelong Covenant,” the ceremony includes prayers and an exchange of vows and rings. Same-sex couples must complete counseling before having their unions or civil marriages blessed by the church….
In a separate vote Monday, the full Episcopal convention approved new anti-discrimination language for transgendered people that cleared the way for transgendered clergy.