As California clerks began issuing civil marriage licenses to same-sex couples in mid-June, Episcopal bishops in the state took a variety of stances on whether their dioceses would provide religious rites for newly married gays and lesbians.
In San Francisco, Bishop Marc Handley Andrus asked his flock to serve as deputy marriage commissioners to help handle the expected flood of marriage applications.
“There are over 4,000 civil same-sex marriages planned in a short period of time in the city of San Francisco alone, and the city is asking for help in meeting demand,” Andrus wrote in a June 9 pastoral letter. “I intend to volunteer for this at my earliest opportunity. . . . By city requirement, clergy will not be allowed to wear collars when presiding at secular marriages.”