A recent announcement out of Washington is stirring up controversy among religious communities while being seen as a big step forward by the gay community. The Washington National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. confirmed plans to begin hosting same-sex marriage ceremonies.
According to the Associated Press, the church will be among the first Episcopal congregations to allow the rite of marriage for LGBT couples. The church will officially announce its new policy on Wednesday.
The 106-year-old cathedral has long been considered a spiritual center for the nation, playing host to presidential inaugural services and funerals for presidents Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford.
Cathedral dean Very Rev. Gary Hall said that performing same-sex marriages is an opportunity to break down barriers and become more inclusive in a way "that reflects the diversity of God's world."
"I read the Bible as seriously as fundamentalists do," Hall told the AP. "And my reading of the Bible leads me to want to do this because I think it's being faithful to the kind of community that Jesus would have us be."