The congregation at St. Paul's Episcopal Cathedral has been prepared to celebrate the committed relationship between a same-sex couple.
However, the Rev. Justin Lindstrom, dean of St. Paul's, said couples have been in no hurry to have a same-sex blessing ceremony at the historic downtown Oklahoma City church, 127 NW 7.
He said that may change if a recent federal ruling is upheld upon appeal.
“I can imagine that people will seek a marriage because it is a fuller expression. It's not only a blessing of the church but it has legal standing under the law,” Lindstrom said.
Tuesday, a federal judge in Tulsa struck down the state's ban on same-sex marriage as unconstitutional. Senior U.S. District Judge Terrence C. Kern prevented his ruling from going into effect while the case makes its way through appeals.
Lindstrom said his church gained the approval of Oklahoma's Episcopal bishop in October 2013 to hold same-gender covenant relationship blessings. While the same-sex rites lack the legal standing of a marriage, they are a symbolic way to celebrate a committed relationship within the church.
Lindstrom said some of the same-sex couples in his church said they were in no hurry to have the blessing conducted because they didn't feel the need to do it.
“Now this court ruling may change that, because it now says you're going to have the same right that a man and woman do,” Lindstrom said.
Lindstrom said because of his congregation's discussions regarding same-sex blessings, he and many of his church members are enthusiastic about the recent federal ruling.
He said he and members of his congregation learned much about each other during churchwide meetings about same-sex blessings.
The gatherings were held in accordance with guidelines set up by the Rt. Rev. Edward Konieczny, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Oklahoma. Konieczny required churches in the diocese to discuss the issue in-depth as one of the requirements to gain his approval to offer the same-sex rites.