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Episcopal Church Moves Toward Greater LGBT Inclusion

via Tara Culp-Ressler, ThinkProgress

The Episcopal Church, which is already well-known as one of the most LGBT-inclusive denominations — the church confirmed its first openly gay bishop, Gene Robinson in 2003 and has supported same-sex marriage since 2005 — is taking steps to codify LGBT equality into its liturgy at its General Convention this week.

The Episcopal Church’s triennial convention is meeting this week to discuss several resolutions to improve Episcopal doctrine and policy toward the LGBT community. Yesterday, both bodies of the church leadership overwhelmingly passed a resolution to add gender identity and expression to the church’s nondiscrimination clause. Additionally, a resolution to add same-sex marriage rites to the Episcopal liturgy passed the church’s Chamber of Bishops — the church’s more conservative body of leadership — and is expected to pass the House of Deputies later this week for final approval.

Episcopal clergy-member Susan Russell, a longtime advocate for LGBT equality, calls the resolution advancing same-sex rites a “profoundly important step” and explains that the implications of the nondiscrimination resolution are far-reaching:

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