Support the Café

Search our Site

Maryland bishops respond to marriage-equality bill

Maryland bishops respond to marriage-equality bill

Two of Maryland’s three Episcopal bishops said yesterday that they will allow diocesan clergy to solemnize same-gender marriages now that marriage equality has been signed into law.


Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley signed the Civil Marriage Protection Act that he brought to the state legislature last year. The law will almost certainly be challenged by opponents before it goes into effect Jan. 1, 2013.

Bishop Eugene Sutton of Maryland and Washington Bishop Mariann Edgar Budde said they will give permission to their clergy to preside at such marriages while Easton Bishop James “Bud” Shand said he would await a pending decision by the church’s General Convention to authorize trial use of a rite to bless same-gender unions.

Sutton said in a statement issued as the governor was signing the bill that not every priest in the diocese will want to solemnize same-gender marriages.

“The Episcopal Church, following the teachings and example of our Lord Jesus, respects the dignity of every human being — including those on both sides of this issue. We, like many other Christian bodies who base their decisions on Holy Scripture, tradition and reason, are not of one mind about the marriage of same gender couples,” he said. “Many of us are rejoicing that we in Maryland will be able to provide the church’s blessing upon these committed relationships in marriage, but also many Episcopal clergy in good conscience cannot perform same gender marriages. For those who have discerned that such committed relationships have met the church’s standards of holy matrimony, this bill will permit them to do so, and I am giving them my consent to perform these marriages.”

Assuming that the expected challenges to the law fail, it goes into effect on January 1, 2013.


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Our comment policy requires that you use your real first and last names and provide an email address (your email will not be published).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.

1 Comment
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Now THAT is religious freedom! Glad to hear it!

Contrast that to complete absence of welcome in the RC church. From friends of Jake:

Two recent stories (H/T Madpriest) highlight [the difference]….

In one story, a Catholic priest refused Communion to a lesbian woman at her mother’s funeral. The woman and her family are shocked and deeply hurt. I believe that RC policy is that Communion is not to be used as a weapon in a public manner–and the woman was not making an issue of her sexuality.

In a second story, a teacher has been fired for getting married to his male partner. (Apparently they had no problem with him “living in sin”. ) He wrote a very well-worded letter asking his supporters not to politicize this.

The gay individuals involved are people of far more grace than certain clergy. The Roman Church comes across very badly.

I hate to say it, but a welcoming Episcopal church really needs to step forward as the Catholic alternative when this kind of thing happens.


-Susan Forsburg

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