Support the Café

Search our Site

In New York, LGBT wedding planning apace

In New York, LGBT wedding planning apace

Sara Tracey reports on the wedding plans of a gay New York couple, Joseph Eppink and Ralph Panelli, as they move quickly toward a mid-September ceremony. (Eppink is Music Director and Organist at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Albany.)

Both men are religious — Eppink is Episcopalian, Panelli is Roman Catholic — so a church wedding was necessary for them.

The couple booked the First Lutheran Church in Albany, [a friend’s] place of worship. They said they would have loved to have the ceremony in Eppink’s church, but Bishop William Love of the Albany Episcopal Diocese has barred priests from participating in same-sex marriage ceremonies. The congregation supports the couple. The Sunday after the law was passed, “We had a coffee hour in front of the church, and there was this huge cheer from people. The church, the parish, they’re all very excited,” Eppink said.

Though marriages for same-sex couples officially began July 24, Eppink and Panelli chose to wait for more significant date: Sept. 17, the date Panelli’s brother was born and died, at age 17, and the date Eppink’s father died. The couple’s commitment ceremony was Sept. 18. They plan to honor family members and friends who have died with a candle-lit “ledge of remembrance” at the reception.


Café Comments?

Our comment policy requires that you use your real first and last names and provide an email address (your email will not be published). Comments that use non-PG rated language, include personal attacks, that are not provable as fact or that we deem in any way to be counter to our mission of fostering respectful dialogue will not be posted.

Support the Café
Past Posts

The Episcopal Café seeks to be an independent voice, reporting and reflecting on the Episcopal Church and the Anglican tradition.  The Café is not a platform of advocacy, but it does aim to tell the story of the church from the perspective of Progressive Christianity.  Our collective sympathy, as the Café, lies with the project of widening the circle of inclusion within the church and empowering all the baptized for the role to which they have been called as followers of Christ.

The opinions expressed at the Café are those of individual contributors, and, unless otherwise noted, should not be interpreted as official statements of a parish, diocese or other organization. The art and articles that appear here remain the property of their creators.

All Content  © 2017 Episcopal Café