Bishop Gene Robinson, visiting a parish in Los Angeles, has suggested that a way forward for churches split on the question of same-gender marriages would be for the clergy to stop officiating at the marriage, and focus on the blessing instead.
In a typical Episcopal marriage service, the first part of the liturgy is largely "civil" with the priest or bishop pronouncing a blessing after the couple has married one another.
From an interview that appeared in the LA Times, Bishop Robinson suggests:
"'In this country, it has become very confusing about where the civil action begins and ends and where the religious action begins and ends, because we have asked clergy to be agents of the state,' said Robinson, the bishop of New Hampshire.
[...]'The church is infringing on the secular society and trying to enforce its beliefs onto the entire culture,' he said. 'If we can get these two things separated, we can assure every religious group, no matter how conservative, that they will never have to bless these marriages.'
'I think we could actually gain some support from our detractors if we could make this separation clear,' he said."
Read the full article here.
Bishop Robinson was in southern California to receive an award from the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD).