By William Wan
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Episcopal Church officials voted yesterday to allow bishops the latitude to bless same-sex unions – the second vote this week in favor of gay rights and one that may further divide the worldwide Anglican community.
On the last day of the church’s triennial national convention in Anaheim, Calif., officials stopped short of creating liturgical rites to bless same-sex unions, but approved a compromise measure that allows bishops, especially in states where same-sex unions are legal, to bless the relationships. The key portion of the legislation says bishops “may provide generous pastoral response” for such unions.
The vote came three days after the church passed a resolution allowing for the ordination of gay bishops. Both moves have prompted strong reactions among the larger worldwide Anglican Church, of which the Episcopal Church is a part.