AR Same-Sex Marriages?

August 8, 2003  -- Posted at 7:35 a.m. CDT

LITTLE ROCK, Ark.  --An Episcopal church ruling on same-sex marriages means local priests could sidestep superiors to bless the unions, according to the church's Arkansas bishop.

Bishop Larry Maze says priests could get around superiors by simply NOT notifying them ahead of time. The national House of Bishops ruled each state diocese can decide whether to bless gay marriages.

Maze, of Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Little Rock, was in Minneapolis for this week's General Convention that included the contentious confirmation Tuesday of the openly gay Reverend Gene Robinson as bishop of New Hampshire.

Maze voted to approve Robinson. Church leaders at first rejected a policy to recognize same-sex marriages, but later approved a version recognizing that states have been blessing the unions.

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