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The Episcopal Church, which has also seen dozens of congregations leaving over the years for its increasingly liberal theology, has already been blessing gay and lesbian couples for decades, but those wishing to change the legal definition of marriage want to make the commitment vow free of gender and official liturgy.
"The Witnessing and Blessing of a Lifelong Covenant," as the Episcopalian proposal is called, would first be used on a three-year trial basis if it passes, and then another decision would have to be made on whether to fully change Episcopalian doctrine to include same-sex couples in the definition of marriage.
"I don't think there is any member of the clergy that stayed [in The Episcopal Church] that didn't know this was going to happen. This is the drift of the culture and, when you have a mass exodus of your conservatives, this is just inevitable," expressed the Rev. James Simons, rector of St. Michael of the Valley in Ligonier.
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