Washington National Cathedral to Perform Same-Sex Marriages

Posted January 9th, 2013 at 6:35 am (UTC-5)
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One of the most prominent churches in the United States will begin hosting same-sex marriages.

Leaders of the Washington National Cathedral are expected to officially announce the new policy on Wednesday.

The majestic cathedral is the seat of the Episcopal Church's Washington, D.C. diocese, which includes areas of the neighboring state of Maryland. Maryland voters approved an amendment that legalizes gay marriage in the November election.

The Episcopal Church has taken major steps in recent years to embrace homosexuals, including the ordination of gay clergy. The church recently approved a special marriage rite that specifically blesses same-sex marriage.

The century-old National Cathedral has hosted presidential inaugural services for such U.S. presidents as Franklin Roosevelt and Barack Obama, as well as the state funerals of former presidents Dwight Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford. The cathedral also hosted a national prayer service after the September 11,2001 terrorist attacks in New York City and the Pentagon near Washington, D.C.