Ala. Bishop Won't Allow Blessing of Gay Unions

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) -- An Episcopal bishop in Alabama says he won't allow priests in his diocese to bless same-sex unions for the time being.

Bishop Kee Sloan voted in favor of creating a new blessing for same-sex couples in July during a national convention of the Episcopal Church.

Sloan's diocese is part of the larger Episcopal denomination, which claims roughly 2 million members.

Those who support the blessing ceremonies for same-sex couples tell The Birmingham News that they are puzzled that Sloan voted in favor of the ceremonies nationally but won't allow them locally. Sloan said the issue is too divisive for the church in Alabama.

He said the ceremonies may eventually be permitted in his diocese, but he doesn't have a timetable in mind.

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