Metropolitan Community Churches have supported the American Episcopalian Church in its move to allow the ordination of gay clergy and Bishops ­-” a decision which is already proving to have ramifications outside the church house.

The Bishops of the Episcopalian church in America -” a branch of the Anglican faith -” passed a resolution last Tuesday, allowing for the ordination of gay clergy. Episcopalian dioceses will now be able to consider gay candidates for the church, though there is no mandate to do so.

The decision could provide further grounds for Anglican dioceses in Australia to push for the inclusion of gay and lesbian members.

Because of their global ties in the Anglican Communion, this decision will have a long tern and global impact, Rev Nancy L. Wilson of MCC America said.

The Episcopal Church has already paid a great price for standing up to religiously-based homophobia and sexism, and now has positioned itself to be a much needed global leader in the spiritual value of inclusion, in which Jesus and justice are inextricably linked.

Reverend Gavin Ward of MCC Sydney called the vote to allow gay clergy an important move.

It will be interesting to see what happens. In 2003 Gene Robinson became the first openly gay Bishop in the Episcopalian church and since then the church has been threatened with skism – there are lots of conservatives within the Anglican church, so how this is going to work itself out, I don’t know.

It is wonderful to see this sort of thing happening finally after so many years. MCC did all of this 40 years ago and it sometimes feels like the world is catching up. But I just really hope that this can be a positive step forward for the Anglican Church.

The decision has also provided further strength to push for same-sex marriage, with Episcopalian bishops now moving to collect theological and liturgical resources to consecrate same-sex unions.

The church stopped short on developing an official rite for same-sex unions, but will provide religious grounds for same-sex marriage advocates.

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