Historic marriage of lesbian couple in Boston cathedral unites top clergy of Episcopal Church

Posted by Charlene Smith on benzinga.com:

"The Episcopalian bishop of Massachusetts began 2011 by solemnizing the first marriage of a lesbian couple - of two senior Episcopalian clergy - at Boston's St Paul's Cathedral Saturday (January 1).

"The marriage of Episcopal Divinity School, dean and president, the Very Reverend Katherine Hancock Ragsdale and Mally Lloyd, Canon to the Ordinary, was the first marriage of a lesbian couple solemnized by the Right Reverend M Thomas Shaw SSJE, Bishop Diocesan of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts.

"At the marriage attended by close to 400 guests, Bishop Shaw commented: 'God always rejoices when two people who love each other make a life long commitment in marriage to go deeper into the heart of God through each other. It's a profound pleasure for me to celebrate with God and my friends, the marriage of Katherine and Mally.'

"The couple met on June 30, 2008, at the urging of a mutual friend. At the time, Canon Lloyd, 57, said, 'We were both travelling a lot and so we would talk by phone. And somehow when you talk a lot by phone, a relationship can go deeper more quickly than when you spend time in person. At least that is what happened to us.'

"Although this is a second marriage for Canon Lloyd, it is the first for Dean Ragsdale,52. 'It's astonishing how the world is changing,'' Dean Ragsdale said, 'when I grew up, I never believed I would be able to have someone special in my life and now to have almost 400 people show up to support us at our marriage ceremony is wonderful.'

"Canon Lloyd says: 'We have a lot in common, we each have a spiritual life that the other understands and respects and we also understand the amount of travelling and often late hours that our work requires. Somehow too when you are in your fifties, certain things just aren't as big a problem as they seemed in your twenties.'

"Though the Episcopal Church's canons and formularly still state that marriage is between a man and a woman, the church at its General Convention in July of 2009 decided to allow that 'bishops, particularly those in dioceses within civil jurisdictions where same-gender marriage, civil unions or domestic partnerships are legal, may provide generous pastoral response to meet the needs of members of this church.'

"In November 2009, Shaw announced his decision to allow clergy in the Diocese of Massachusetts to solemnize all marriages--a long wait for many given that marriage for same-sex couples had been legalized in Massachusetts more than five years earlier."

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