France approves gay marriage
The French Assembly passed a measure legalizing gay marriage in France by a vote of 331–225 on April 23, 2013. According to AP
, France thus becomes the 14th and largest country to provide for gay marriage nationwide. The French are sharply divided on gay marriage, however. AP also reported
that, four days after gay marriage became legal, the first gay-marriage fair was held in Paris.
West Indian bishops affirm conventional marriage definition
According to Anglican Ink
, the House of Bishops and Standing Committee of the Church in the Province of the West Indies
issued a statement on same-sex unions on April 25, 2013. The statement asserts the validity of the one-man-one-woman definition of marriage articulated by the Church of England in 2005 and urges civil authorities to resist outside pressure to accept a universal human right to marry.
English diocese requests gay-friendly bishop
According to The Telegraph
, the Church of England’s Diocese of Manchester has requested that the successor to its retired bishop, Nigel McCulloch, be someone who will foster “‘positive relationships’ with gay
Anglicans and non-worshippers.” The request was made to the Crown Nominations Commission in a formal “statement of needs” submitted by the diocese’s Vacancy
in See committee.
Gay marriage advances in Delaware legislature
A gay marriage bill is moving through the Delaware legislature. It was passed 23–18 by the Delaware House April 23, 2013, and now moves to the Senate, where the vote is expected to be close. Governor Jack Markell has pledged to sign the bill should it reach his desk. The bill would eliminate a prohibition on gay marriage and replace a previously passed civil unions law. Details are provided by The News Journal
ERD debuts new Web site
Episcopal Relief and Development has a new site and a new address on the Web. The new site can be viewed at http://www.episcopalrelief.org
. Visitors using the old URL, http://www.er-d.org
, are automatically redirected to ERD site. Details are available from Episcopal News Service
Virginia church performs first same-sex blessing
Christ Church, Alexandria, performed its first same-sex blessing in a Sunday evening service on April 21, 2013. The blessing of the union of Melissa Capers and Bruni Hernandez is described on the church Web site
as an appropriate act given Christ Church’s mission as “a welcoming, open, and inclusive congregation.” Additional information is available in a story from Old Town Alexandria Patch
Dormant Montgomery church resurrected
Montgomery’s Church of the Redeemer, an Episcopal church that was declared dormant by Bishop Henry Parsley in 2007, was scheduled to return to life April 28, 2013. Its rector resigned in 2005 over the consecration of Gene Robinson, and the congregation slowly melted away. Attorney Julian McPhillips, a founder of the church and lay pastor, petitioned the Episcopal Diocese of Alabama to resume Episcopal services, and the Rev. James Muriuki agreed to lead Sunday evening services. The facility has been rented by a Korean Methodist congregation, which will continue using the building. This story was reported by the Montgomery Advertiser