In a novel approach to the tensions that have accompanied the same-sex marriage debate in many religious denominations, the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts this month will consider getting out of the marriage business.This isn't too far from my preferred solution -- get the state out of the marriage business -- but does the Episcopal Church really need to give people fewer reasons to come to church?
A group of local Episcopal priests, saying that the gay marriage debate has intensified their longtime concern about acting as agents of the state by officiating at marriages, is proposing that the Episcopal Church adopt a new approach. Any couples qualified to get married under state law could be married by a justice of the peace, and then, if they want a religious imprimatur for their marriage, they could come to the Episcopal Church seeking a blessing from a priest.
The approach, radical for the United States, is commonly practiced in Europe.
09 October 2006
Glad We've Got That Settled
Episcopal Diocese may quit marriages: Same-sex debate drives Mass. plan (Michael Paulson, Boston Globe, 10/8/06)
Posted by David at 11:26 AM