Friday, 5 March 2010

Civil Marriage in Washington DC

The District of Columbia in the USA recently became the sixth jurisdiction in the USA to enact a change to its civil marriage laws, to permit same-sex couples to get married. The five others are New Hampshire, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts and Vermont.

The law went into effect this week, after the Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court declined to order a delay.

The Bishop of Washington, John Chane issued this press release and these guidelines (PDF) for clergy. (The Diocese of Washington includes the District of Columbia and several counties of Maryland.)

Episcopal Bishop: Priests may preside at civil marriages in D. C.

Episcopal priests in the Diocese of Washington may preside at civil same-sex marriages in the District of Columbia under guidelines released today by Bishop John Bryson Chane. No priest is required to preside at such ceremonies.

“Through the grace of Holy Baptism, there are no second class members of the Body of Christ, “ Chane said. “We are of equal value in the eyes of God, and any one of us may be called by the Holy Spirit into holy relationships as well as Holy Orders.”

At its General Convention in July, the Episcopal Church granted bishops with jurisdiction where civil same-sex marriage is legal the discretion to “provide generous pastoral responses to meet the needs of members of this church.” Chane joins bishops in Iowa, Vermont and Massachusetts in permitting clergy to preside at civil same-sex marriages. Diocesan clergy in Washington have long been permitted to offer liturgical blessings to same-sex couples.

Chane’s guidelines do not specify what rites clergy may use when officiating at a civil marriage. “I would prefer to work that out in consultation with the clergy who will be performing these services,” he said…

For more background, see the ENS report by Mary Frances Schjonberg WASHINGTON: Priests may preside at civil marriages in D.C.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Friday, 5 March 2010 at 7:52am GMT | TrackBack
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Categorised as: ECUSA
Comments

Meanwhile, the Roman Catholic Church archdiocese there in all it's closeted wisdom seeks to annul health care benefits to all married couples as a form of protest:

http://www.hrc.org/14138.htm


While at the same time they plug a hole in the dike in Rome:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/mar/04/vatican-gay-sex-scandal

Unbelievable.

Posted by: evensongjunkie (formerly cbfh) on Friday, 5 March 2010 at 1:40pm GMT

Always the true Liberal, Bp Chane respects the consciences of both sides.

Posted by: Davis d'Ambly on Friday, 5 March 2010 at 5:02pm GMT

Wonderful, Mazel Tov! :-D

[Dahveed, any word from the IgAngMexico, about whether priests there can have any function at SSMs in Mexico City? (Con muchas felicidades a todos los novios! :-D)]

Posted by: JCF on Friday, 5 March 2010 at 7:47pm GMT

“Through the grace of Holy Baptism, there are no second class members of the Body of Christ. We are of equal value in the eyes of God, and any one of us may be called by the Holy Spirit into holy relationships as well as Holy Orders.”
- Bp. John Chane, +Washington -

This Anglican Bishop of Washington deserves a place on the Anglican Consultative Council - for his Gospel-based and eirenic proclamation of the grace of God directed towards the emancipation of faithful monogamous same-sex relationships in his diocese. He'd be a good candidate for the Vacancy now exisiting in the english Diocese of Rochester.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Friday, 5 March 2010 at 10:07pm GMT

"This Anglican Bishop of Washington ..." Chane is the Episcopal Bp of Washington ... there well may be one or more "Anglican" ones. Chane is a TEC Bp who is, of course, in communion w/the ABC, and thus in communion with the Anglican Communion. I'm feeling picky tonight!

Posted by: Cynthia Gilliatt on Saturday, 6 March 2010 at 4:06am GMT

Cynthia, you are entitled to be 'picky' on this site - and I deserve it. Fancy calling a TEC Episcopal Bishop by the title 'Anglican'! Only joking, but you do have a point. I should be more careful with my language - but we are experiencing strange times within the Communion.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Saturday, 6 March 2010 at 9:54am GMT

Well Bishop Chane is the only official "Anglican" Bishop in D.C., so you're both correct.

MY question to the ACNA's/Anglican Catholic Church of North America/Reform Episcopal et. al., is why do they call themselves Anglican, when they are surely not? Big question.

Posted by: evensongjunkie (formerly cbfh) on Saturday, 6 March 2010 at 5:55pm GMT
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