Thursday, 11 December 2008

TEC Los Angeles Bishop authorizes blessings of lifelong covenantal relationships

Bishop J. Jon Bruno of Los Angeles has authorized the use of a rite for the "Sacramental Blessing of a Life-long Covenant" for both same-gender and heterosexual couples.

The blessing "involves the exchange of vows between two people who make a public declaration of unconditional, covenantal love. This God-type love draws us all into the experience of God. It seems obvious that two men or two women are just as capable of making such a covenantal commitment of lifelong, God-like love as are a man and a woman," according to a policy statement prepared by the Bishop's Task Force on Marriage.

Delegates attending the 113th annual convention of the Diocese of Los Angeles, meeting at the Riverside Convention Center, received copies of the policy and a suggested order for the rite on December 5.

Bruno emphasized that the policy does not contradict California law, which currently prohibits gay marriage. He said it is also applicable in heterosexual relationships, and could also be used to bless the union of two senior citizens who are unwilling to risk losing Social Security or health care benefits by marrying.

"While the state will not allow us to officially marry same-sex couples, we believe the same blessing ceremony afforded to men and women should be afforded to same-sex couples," according to the policy, available on the diocese’s website. Read more
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