Same -sex marriages can now be performed in the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta, said Bishop Robert Wright.
Rev. Wright said such unions can be performed under the same policy that applies to heterosexual marriages, including that one of the couple will be a baptized member of the parish where the marriage is to be performed.
If a clergy member declines to perform a same-sex wedding, the bishop is to be notified so that he might locate another priest willing to perform the ceremony.
In 2012, Wright wrote a letter to clergy allowing them to perform blessings of same-sex couples. The letter stated that priests were not obligated to perform a blessing and, in fact, may decline to preside at one without fear of penalty.
The diocese covers Middle and North Georgia.
Bishop Wright blessed the marriage of the Rev. Cynthia Hizer and Margaret Putnam during a Sept. 21, 2014, liturgy at Church of the Epiphany, Atlanta, with Rector Benno Pattison. The couple was married the previous August in New Mexico.
“Today the nation’s highest court has concluded that the Constitution guarantees a nationwide right to same-sex marriage,” Wright said. “In the days ahead, whatever your position, I ask you to keep close to your heart and lips the word of Scripture, that “God is love.” Christ’s church is trans-political…above all earthly partisanship. Therefore, if love has won even a small victory today, then let us rejoice.”
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