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D.C. cathedral to host gay weddings

NEW YORK — The Washington National Cathedral, the nation’s traditional host of prayer services for presidents and memorial services to mark national tragedies, announced Wednesday that it will now hold weddings for same-sex couples.

The cathedral, a neogothic landmark in northwest Washington, is the seat of the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church and the Washington diocese. Episcopalians voted at their convention last summer to authorize an official liturgy for blessing same-sex unions, bringing the church in line with other liberal Christian and Jewish denominations that sanction gay marriage.

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The cathedral’s decision is not surprising for a denomination that has paid a price for its stance, shedding members and setting off an uproar in the international Anglican Communion to which it belongs by consecrating its first openly gay bishop in 2003.

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