The Diocese of Virginia authorizes same-sex blessings at 7 churches:
Charlottesville Church Recognizes Same Sex Unions
A Charlottesville Episcopal church is taking steps toward recognizing same-sex unions.
“It is another step along the road that this church has had in opening its doors to people. Particularly people on the margins,” said Rector James Richardson.
St. Paul’s Memorial Church sits right across University Avenue from the UVA Rotunda. And after months of deliberation, it’s decided to stand up to officially recognize same-sex relationships.
“What we are doing is not in a vacuum, it is part of the wider church, not every part of the church is doing the same thing,” Richardson said. “In the end it came to me to ask permission of the bishop about whether we could bless these relationships.”
The church joins six other Episcopal congregations in the Diocese of Virginia approved to perform similar ceremonies. But Richardson is quick to point out that this is different from what we think of traditionally as marriage. Rather, he considers this a recognition of mutual joy.
“This is the right thing to do now,” he said. “Our gay and lesbian people have waited a long time.”