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-- is most prominent church is implementing a new and controversial policy.
The Washington National Cathedral where the country gathers to more national tragedies and celebrate president's.
We'll soon begin allowing same sex marriages the church will be among the first episcopal congregations to implement this new right of marriage.
This is sitting carries huge symbolism an -- it's a traditional marriage say in their opinion it's the wrong -- Joining us now to discuss the John -- and chair of the National Organization for Marriage and the very reverend -- hall dean of the national cathedral we will begin our conversation.
With dean hall thank you so much for joining us on the Sunday.
It's a pleasure to be here why this decision why now.
Well two things first of all the episcopal church is gone through about -- -- a year discernment process trying to decide what to do.
How to how to offer gay and lesbian.
The tools for living faithful life and at last year's general convention in July to prove this right that -- -- -- use.
Which could be adaptable for areas where there is same sex marriage legal.
And Washington DC and parts of the -- and Maryland now which is our diocese.
It's legal in all parts of -- -- and so.
That's one thing.
And so we felt really it was the time and and that we were just sort of going through this -- kind of what I've congregation would do.
In the nation's capital it turns out it's been a large symbolic it can perhaps a larger symbolic thing than we perhaps thought it might be.
And a lot of reaction on both sides to this.
The national cathedral viewed -- as a place to house a safe for people all faiths and different denominations and religions and and it is such a gathering point in coalescing point for Americans in -- of triumph and tragedy.
On -- so how you entity Americans out there who say on you for me personally my personal conviction and my -- conviction is that.
It isn't the right thing to do and yet here's this national monument for all -- that is going to move ahead with something.
Well I think any you know there's always -- tension between public and private morality.
And four Christians morality is private and in terms of individual decision making and it is also public in terms of joint corporate decision making.
I would say there are probably pro don't death penalty Catholics who go to Catholic church's.
And don't spend a lot of time it can exercise about the fact that their church has a long.
Tradition of opposing the death penalty so there's always a tension between an individual -- the nomination.
I would say for us I would look back to the civil rights movement and say forty years ago fifty years ago my predecessor dean -- was one of the most advocates civil rights.
Leaders in the country and went to Selma Alabama and that was controversial at the time I think a large public church like ours.
Always needs to be in a leadership role and needs to be willing to take.
Stands that may be controversial although I I think again for us this is seen as a fairly consensual decision for at least those of us in the episcopal church.
-- got much reaction so far.
Most of the reaction we've gotten has been positive I mean we have gotten angry reaction.
I do think though that that the churches have been dealing with this question for so long and for me again it's a question about what tools do we offer faithful gay and lesbian people for the living of their lives and if we.
Believe that marriage is a good thing for heterosexual people.
Then it seems to me that marriage is also a good thing for -- homosexual people because he calls people into more deeply faithful living of their lives.
We appreciate your time today coming in and that explaining your position here thank you and pleasure to be here.
Are and we're continuing our conversation the other side here John -- from the National Organization for Marriage.
Your reaction to what dean hall had to say the fact that you want to encourage people to live out their faith and be inclusive.
Well what's interesting is the episcopal church he's right is gone through a twenty year process of discernment.
-- embrace homosexuality.
Going back ten years with Eugene Robinson's elevation to.
The that -- bishop of New Hampshire and there's been a huge outcry in the church so much so that that they're their membership numbers are down 16% over the last decade.
A number of local congregations -- broken off.
And and and align themselves with other more traditional branches of the Anglican international Anglican Communion.
And and what the -- doesn't say is the step that the church has taken them the national church.
In the United States is directly.
In violation of of an international Anglican law and the and the book of common prayer.
So they can do this if they want but but I think we're redefining marriage to be something it was never understood to be.
Is -- -- have dramatic consequences.
Both in this country and end in their church.
I think some people do you split although you know our most recent polling shows that Americans are still very split on this issue when it comes to gain and lesbian marriage.
Very much sort of a 5050 with the -- -- now to those who favor gay marriage.
Here in this country but for some the dividing -- is about a civil ceremony vs what happens in a church so we should churches be able to decide.
Which kinds of couples -- Mary.
Well you know -- churches can do whatever they want the question is.
What what does their religious faith teach and that the folks that are pushing this in the episcopal church have the same.
I kind of living constitution cavalier regard for doctrines of the Bible as as a living constitutional -- have -- our constitution.
A fact of the matter is.
They should recognize it even their own.
Doctor and coming out of the national and international organization.
Says this is is is not proper and not in accord with the doctrine of the church.
But I think there's another aspect of this is and what does this indicate for the the legal battle were in the middle of and I and I think it shows that that different.
-- organizations are gonna go different away from ways on this and I think that means that we big courts do not need to impose.
A one -- rule fits all for the net for the country.
As the court cases are going -- to the United States Supreme Court.
-- we do you have with the defense of marriage act case in the prop eight case out of California.
What do you think the Supreme Court will do what either or both of those places.
Well we're certainly urging the Supreme Court to uphold traditional marriage to uphold the defense of marriage act -- -- The decision of seven million Californians to.
To keep traditional marriage as the definition of marriage and its state and I think the court is gonna go that direction rather than finding.
A constitutional right that quite frankly doesn't exist in the constitution.
Right John -- our thanks to you again to -- hall as well for discussion on this very controversial topic thank you.
Thank you -- --
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