The follow Resolution was passed in the closing minutes of General Convention on Wednesday. It rejects all attempts by American citizens to support traditional marriage as between one man and one woman. This is truly where the Episcopal Church stands. We have in our Prayer Book all ready a blessing for Civil Marriage and it could be construed as now appropriate to use in this "new context" since some states are now permitting same sex civil unions or marriages. Since the context of this resolution is that the Episcopal Church affirms all civil unions and marriages, and since this resolution was passed by both the House of Bishops and the House of Deputies, it carries the weight of the entire General Convention of the Episcopal Church.
What this resolution could be used to endorse, therefore, is the use of the Blessing and Celebration of a Marriage (this is virtually what Prince Charles and Camilla used after their civil marriage) on any couple that is joined in a civil union, including homosexual couples. So now they have a marriage rite because the Episcopal Church officially opposes any constitutional restrictions against homosexual civil unions or civil marriages. The rite itself says it is preformed under the laws of the state. What could then happen is that the couple could have a marriage performed by a civil magistrate or authorized individual of the state, followed by an Episcopal blessing of the marriage by an Episcopal priest.
Golly. I thought I'd only see this kind of maneuver on Capitol Hill.
Clink on the above above to see the rite from the current ECUSA Book of Common Prayer.
Resolution A095, which reads in its final form:
Resolved, the House of Deputies concurring, That the 75th General Convention reaffirm the Episcopal Church’s historical support of gay and lesbian persons as children of God and entitled to full civil rights; and be it further
Resolved, That the 75th General Convention reaffirm the 71st General Convention’s action calling upon “municipal council, state legislatures and the United States Congress to approve measures giving gay and lesbian couples protection[s] such as: bereavement and family leave policies; health benefits; pension benefits; real-estate transfer tax benefits; and commitments to mutual support enjoyed by non-gay married couples”; and be it further
Resolved, That the 75th General Convention oppose any state or federal constitutional amendment that prohibits same-sex civil marriage or civil unions.
Kazillian Thanks to Matt Kennedy of Stand Firm for catching this.