Oklahoma City pastor says church's same-sex couples may head to altar if ruling is upheld

Couples who were in no hurry to have a same-sex blessing ceremony at St. Paul's Episcopal Cathedral in Oklahoma City may decide to head to the altar if a federal ruling is upheld that struck down Oklahoma's same-sex marriage ban.
by Carla Hinton Published: January 17, 2014
Advertisement
;

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.

Enthusiastic response

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.


by Carla Hinton
Religion Editor
Carla Hinton, an Oklahoma City native, joined The Oklahoman in 1986 as a National Society of Newspaper Editors minority intern. She began reporting full-time for The Oklahoman two years later and has served as a beat writer covering a wide...
+ show more


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.”

The Rev. Justin Lindstrom,

dean of St. Paul's Episcopal Cathedral,

dean of St. Paul's Episcopal Cathedral

Trending Now


AROUND THE WEB

  1. 1
    10 Most Popular Wedding 'First Dance' Songs
  2. 2
    Psychologists Studied the Most Uptight States in America, and Found a Striking Pattern
  3. 3
    Facebook Post Saves Drowning Teen
  4. 4
    Saturday's front page of the New York Times sports section is simple: LeBron James and transactions
  5. 5
    The 19th-century health scare that told women to worry about "bicycle face"
+ show more