Monday, July 13, 2015

Diocese of Southwest Florida uses caution on whether to perform same-sex marriages

From Southwest Florida-

Just days after the U.S. Episcopal Church approved a canonical change allowing clergy to perform same-sex weddings in their churches, Bradenton's Episcopal bishop is pondering whether to approve it for the Episcopal Diocese of Southwest Florida.

At its recent General Convention in Salt Lake City, a group comprised of bishops, clergy and lay people approved a resolution to their Constitution and Canons, changing the definition of marriage between a man and a woman to one of gender neutrality.

The resolution further states that Episcopal clergy can refuse to officiate at a same-sex wedding, if it violates their conscience.

Now, Bishop Dabney Smith, who presides over 77 churches, from Brooksville down to Marco Island and east to Arcadia, with almost 31,000 active baptized members, must decide whether to allow his clergy to perform them. He has until the first Sunday of Advent, Nov. 29, when the supplemental liturgy takes effect.

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