Episcopalians to Bless Gay Marriage

    NEW YORK, NY - JULY 26:  Ruth Johansen Diaz and Evelyn Johansen Diaz hold hands during their wedding ceremony in Washington Square Park on July 26, 2011 in New York City.  Same-sex couples were married for free today in Washington Square Park; July 24 was the first day gay couples were allowed to legally marry in New York state.  (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

    Mario Tama / Getty Images (FILE)

    The Episcopalian Church on Tuesday became one step closer to approving gay marriage. Episcopal priests will now be able to bless same-sex relationships in a ceremony known as "The Witnessing and Blessing of a Lifelong Covenant," making the church the largest denomination in the country to endorse gay unions. Church officials were quick to point out that the service is not a marriage ceremony and that the blessing service will undergo a three-year trial run. But, the church has been more progressive than most when it comes to gay rights, and has allowed the ordination of gay priests since 2009.

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