With New York set to begin issuing marriage licenses on Sunday, Episcopal churches in the state are split over whether they will officiate unions between same-sex couples.
TheNew York Timesreports that Episcopal priests in many parts of the state cannot marry gay and lesbian couples, as New York's six Episcopal dioceses are split over the issue. Couples in the New York City boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens, for example, can get married by the clergy, but those in Manhattan, Staten Island, and the Bronx cannot.
"The Episcopal Church should really communicate that God loves everybody," said Roy Kim, who is engaged to the Reverend Clayton Crawley, an Episcopal priest (the couple worships at a lower Manhattan church). "The Episcopal Church does do that better than most churches, but it's a great opportunity now to really, unequivocally say that."
But Bishop Mark S. Sisk of the New York diocese said in an e-mail response to the Times, "The church is still in the process of creating liturgies for these rites and incorporating them into church law."