Washington National Cathedral to perform same-sex weddings
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Washington National Cathedral, where the nation gathers to mourn tragedies and celebrate new presidents, will soon begin performing same-sex marriages.
Cathedral officials tell The Associated Press the church will be among the first Episcopal congregations to implement a new rite of marriage for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender members.
As the nation's most prominent church, the decision carries huge symbolism. The 106-year-old cathedral has long been a spiritual centre for the nation, hosting presidential inaugural services and funerals for former presidents Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford. It draws hundreds of thousands of visitors.
In the light of the legality of same-sex marriage in the District of Columbia and now Maryland, the Rt Reverend Mariann Edgar Budde, the Episcopal bishop of Washington, decided last month to allow an expansion of the Christian marriage sacrament.