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Washington National Cathedral to host same-sex weddings

Ministers at the Washington National Cathedral in Washington, DC, will perform same-sex marriage ceremonies, officials at the church announced today.

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Ministers at the Washington National Cathedral in Washington, DC, will perform same-sex marriage ceremonies, officials at the church have announced. (PEDRO ARMESTRE/AFP/Getty Images)

Ministers at the Washington National Cathedral in Washington, DC, will perform same-sex marriage ceremonies, officials at the church announced today, according to the Associated Press.

As an Episcopalian institution located in the District of Columbia, where gay marriage is legal, it is not altogether unexpected that the National Cathedral will host same-sex weddings, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The Episcopal Church approved a ceremony for same-sex unions in July 2012, the AP reported. The first Episcopal Church wedding was took place at the West Point Cadet Chapel in December, BBC News reported.

However, the national profile of the cathedral has drawn attention to the announcement, the LA Times reported.

While the church has no official state role, it is often used for presidential inaugural services and state funerals, BBC News reported.

The new dean of the cathedral, the Very Rev. Gary Hall, is a longtime same-sex marriage advocate, the AP reported.

"If all of us open ourselves to the fullness and diversity of our nation's many voices, we will learn to walk together in a new way," he told BBC News.

Couples are required to complete a counseling course at the cathedral before they can get married there, so its first gay marriages aren’t expected to take place for at least six months to a year, BBC News reported.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/130109/washington-national-cathedral-host-same-sex-wedd