INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Episcopal bishops have approved an official prayer that blesses same-sex unions.
Church leaders on Monday voted 111-41 in favor of the liturgy during the Episcopal General Convention in Indianapolis. The plan now goes to convention deputies for final approval.
Episcopalians consecrated their first openly gay bishop in 2003, causing an uproar among fellow Anglicans and prompting many Episcopalians to leave the denomination.
Episcopal opponents of the same-sex blessings are warning the new liturgy will deepen those divisions.
In a separate vote Monday, the full convention cleared the way for transgender ordination. Some dioceses already ordain transgendered people since church policy bars discrimination against them.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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