By Dani Kass and Dean Seal, The Daily Progress (Virginia)
As Virginia settles into the legalization of same-sex marriages, the results are mixed on whether churches in the region are opening their doors to couples hoping to wed at their altars.
Same-sex couples have some options for church ceremonies around town. The non-denominational University of Virginia Chapel allows all couples to hold ceremonies there, along with the Episcopal St. Paul’s Memorial Church and the Canterbury Fellowship, the student ministry at St. Paul’s.
The Unitarian Universalist Thomas Jefferson Memorial Church on Rugby Road has shown its support for same-sex marriage with a sign on its front façade that reads, “This Church Supports Marriage Rights.”
Sojourners United Church of Christ in Charlottesville could be open soon to performing weddings as well. The church had previously refused to perform the civil portion of wedding ceremonies for any couples, regardless of sexual orientation, “as long as that civil process was only available to some and not all,” said the church’s co-moderator Jim Gibson. Now that the new legislation has been handed down, Gibson said the topic will be brought back to the congregation, and that it is “highly likely the congregation will be willing” to grant the civil matrimony to all couples.
But not every local church decides on its own whom to wed — some denominations adhere to doctrines set by higher religious officials.