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US Episcopal leaders vote to allow same-sex weddings inside their churches

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The U.S. Episcopal Church voted overwhelmingly on Wednesday to let gay couples wed in the denomination’s religious ceremonies, reinforcing its support for same-sex nuptials days after the U.S. Supreme Court legalized gay marriage nationwide.

The Church, part of the worldwide Anglican Communion, became in 2012 the largest U.S. religious denomination to approve a liturgy for clergy to use in blessing same-sex unions, including gay marriages in states where they were already legal.

While some clergy and lay members disagreed with the proposal put before the Church’s triennial convention, held in Salt Lake City, the faith’s House of Deputies concurred with the House of Bishops, which overwhelmingly approved the measure in a separate vote on Tuesday.

“In 1976, the Church promised full and equal claim to LGBT members, and we’ve spent those years making that resolution a reality,” said the Rev. Susan Russell of the Diocese of Los Angeles.

“Today’s action is a huge step … toward a promised land of a Church that fully includes all its members,” she said.

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But the Rev. Neal Michell, dean of St. Matthew’s Cathedral in Dallas, said he opposed such unions because “the teaching of scriptures says marriage itself is between a man and a woman. That’s the teaching of the (Book of Common Prayer) and our catechism.”

Under the new rules, clergy can opt out of performing gay marriage ceremonies.

The Episcopal Church is the 14th largest U.S. religious denomination, with about 2 million members, according to the National Council of Churches.

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In 2003, its members elected Gene Robinson, who lived with his male partner, as bishop of the Diocese of New Hampshire, leading to fractious relations with conservative Episcopal dioceses in the United States and some members of the global Anglican Communion, especially in Africa.

(Reporting by Peg McEntee; Editing by Daniel Wallis and Peter Cooney)


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Trump raked over the coals by WSJ for ‘politically stupid’ racist comments debacle

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In a brutally blunt column from the conservative editorial board of the Wall Street Journal, the editors scolded Donald Trump for being "politically stupid" by wading into a dispute between factions within the Democratic Party that has blown up in his face.

Under a headline reading, "Defining Politics Down," the editorial seemed less concerned with Trump's racist attacks and more with the fact that he has made his racism front and center as the country gears up for the 2020 election.

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Dear NeverTrumpers: Either help or STFU

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Bill Kristol Max Boot David Frum
Over the past few weeks, you may have noticed that the NeverTrumpers — repentant Republicans and conservatives — have been offering up lots of advice for how the Democrats can win the next election. Their jackhammer advice has basically been limited to urging the party to disavow its activist, progressive members in order to secure the contrarian swing voters who cast ballots for Barack Obama twice, then switched to Donald Trump in 2016.

Before I offer up a come-to-Jesus moment for the NeverTrumpers, let me say that as many of you know, I’ve defended members of this exiled faction in the past, and continue to stand by the idea that we need to form a coalition to close the loopholes exposed by Donald Trump’s malfeasance as a means of preventing another, perhaps more dangerous monster from sashaying through the Trump-shaped hole in the wall. To be clear: I’m not talking about conceding on policy or platform planks. I’m merely suggesting a detente between voices who all agree that Trump is a menace and his presidency is an existential national crisis.

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News flash: Trump’s no racist!

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The gap that Donald Trump continually shows us between word and deed is remarkable. He lets words hurt while ignoring the substance of what the words mean.

That public words that various people, from both in and out of government or politics, say about him seem to matter a whole lot more than actual events, scandals or bad governmental behavior reflecting on his presidency. We’re used to it by now, numb really, so, it seems useful to step back and look at the pattern.

Even so, his tweets on Sunday telling four rebellious first-year congresswomen, citizens who are all of color, that they should return to where they came from “to go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came” is an insult that crosses all borders. As it happens, three of the four are American-born, and Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Mich.) has been a naturalized citizen since age 12.

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