Episcopal university reverses decision, allows same-sex commitment ceremony on campus
A same-sex couple will be allowed to hold a commitment ceremony in the chapel of an Episcopal Church-affiliated university after a reversal by the school’s administration.
Kathryn Kendrick and Eva Walton requested that the University of the South, a liberal arts university in Sewanee, Tennessee which has a school of seminary and theology, allow them to hold a commitment ceremony in All Saints' Chapel.
"[T]the likelihood that this situation will occur again has increased."
According to the Tennessean, the two were married on May 31st in Washington D.C., where same-sex marriage is legal. Neither the Episcopal church nor the state of Tennessee recognizes the union, and the university turned them down because they were married before the commitment ceremony was to take place.
The reversed decision came after a large backlash on social media, including a Facebook page totaling 2,500 members—larger than the entire Sewanee student body—vocalizing support.
Although the ceremony will take place later in the fall, the liturgy will be slightly deviated to distance itself from a traditional marriage.
Sewanee’s vice chancellor, Dr. John McCardell said this will most likely occur again in the future as more same-sex couples are also seeking a religious ceremony as well as legal recognition.
“Since more and more states are permitting gay marriage, the likelihood that this situation will occur again has increased,” said McCardell.
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