(HOUSTON CHRONICLE) Following the Episcopal Church’s likely approval of a liturgy blessing same-sex relationships at its summer convention, a Montrose congregation will be among the first to offer gay and lesbian couples this rite, the Rt. Rev. Andy Doyle announced this week.

Doyle, bishop of the Texas Diocese, named St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church as the first in Houston to be allowed to offer the proposed ceremonies for same-sex covenants.

The Episcopal Church has held an ongoing debate regarding gay clergy for decades and began ordaining openly gay priests in the ‘90s, a gay bishop in 2003 and a lesbian bishop in 2010, but the issue of homosexuality continues to elicit debate.

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