“Episcopalians overwhelmingly voted Wednesday to allow religious weddings for same-sex couples, solidifying the church’s embrace of gay rights that began more than a decade ago with the election of the first openly gay bishop.
The vote came in Salt Lake City at the Episcopal General Convention, days after the U.S. Supreme Court legalized gay marriage nationwide. It passed in the House of Deputies, the voting body of clergy and lay participants at the meeting. The House of Bishops had approved the resolution Tuesday, 129-26, with five abstaining.
The Very Rev. Brian Baker of Sacramento said the church rule change was the result of a nearly four-decade conversation that has been difficult and painful for many. Baker, chairman of the committee that crafted the changes, said that church members have not always been kind to one another but that the dynamic has changed in recent decades.”