Mainline Churches: Not Quite As Liberal As They Look

Readers of newspaper "Vows" columns, which have lately blossomed to include gay and lesbian ceremonies, may think that although the Catholic and evangelical churches regard same-sex wedlock as ungodly, somebody must be churning out gay marriages wholesale. In fact, no major church offers a ritual for full-fledged gay marriage. True, the old liberal Protestant mainline churches have over decades bestowed on thousands of couples alternative sanctions called union ceremonies or same-sex blessings. But even these are ferociously debated. Controversy over them--along with a new argument about whether to enter the national fight over marriage in its civil form--may soon rival the...

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