Santa Barbara- The U.S. Episcopal Church has approved a liturgy that will allow priests to bless same-sex couples, no matter if gay marriage is legal in that state or not. This makes the church the biggest in the United States to endorse such a rite.The vote took place Tuesday, and starting December 2nd, priests whose bishops give the OK, will be allowed to bless the unions of gay and lesbian couples. Santa Barbara’s Trinity Episcopal Church at 1500 State Street says, while this is just a blessing and not legally binding, it’s a big step forward. The blessing is called “The Witnessing and Blessing of a Lifelong Covenant,” and includes prayers and vows. The ceremony includes “I do” and an exchange of rings without using the words “husband,” “wife” or “marriage.”Opponents to the resolution argue that an official liturgy is the same as endorsing same-sex marriage with no theological basis. Church laws define marriage as a union between a man and a woman and they add it’s a step in the wrong direction. KEY News Reporter Shirin Rajaee reports.
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