Bishop’s Policy on the Blessing of Same-Sex Couples

Dear Clergy in Charge:

 
There have been questions raised about my policy on the blessing of same-sex couples. 
 
I have asked that the policy from 2014 be removed from the website.
 
I will issue a new statement on this for distribution. Before that is done here is what the statement will contain:
 
 
It my official stance that permission is granted to clergy and congregations of the Episcopal Diocese of Utah to exercise the sacramental ministry of solemnizing and blessing the marriages of same-sex couples. The liturgies for the service will be the ones authorized by General Convention. No other liturgies may be used. The liturgies may be found here: 
 
 
 
The same theological and moral values, canonical requirements, pastoral care, liturgical and other parish policies and practices apply equally to both heterosexual and homosexual couples. In other words, the blessing and marriage will be the same for all couples with the exception of the liturgies that are able to be used for same-sex couples.
 
Finally, it remains the cleric’s decision whether or not to bless and perform marriages for any couple. Also, in congregations where the blessing of same-sex couples is a controversy then I require that the cleric will work with the bishop’s committee or vestry to come to a decision as to whether or not that congregation will choose to more forward in performing same-sex blessings and marriage and such a decision will be made known to the congregation. In those places I require that the cleric and leadership undertake the study of “I will Bless you and you will be a blessing” (attached) which I distributed to you on previous occasions.
 
Faithfully,
 
+Scott B. Hayash