Washington National Cathedral will begin hosting weddings for same-sex couples
January 10, 2013
Yesterday, the Washington National Cathedral announced that it will soon begin hosting weddings for same-sex couples.
The cathedral has historically served as the unofficial "capitol of worship," providing a space for many prayer services for presidents and memorials for national tragedies; it was the site where Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower and Ronald Reagon were eulogized and the mourning location for the victims of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
It is also one of the first Episcopal congregations in the country to introduce marriage rites for LGBT individuals.
The cathedral's dean, the Very Reverend Gary Hall, told The New York Times yesterday:
We have a lot of gay and lesbian Christians. What the National Cathedral is saying by doing this is we want to give faithful lesbian, bisexual, gay and transgender people the same tools for living their lives faithfully that straight people have always had, and marriage is one of those tools. This comes out of even more of a theological understanding, for me, than it does out of a political agenda.
He also spoke with the Associated Press about the significance of the step forward. He said, "For us to be able to say we embrace same-sex marriage as a tool for faithful people to live their lives as Christian people, for us to be able to say that at a moment when so many other barriers toward full equality and full inclusion for gay and lesbian people are falling, I think it is an important symbolic moment."