Community of Christ Church to allow same-sex marriages, commitment ceremonies

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. - It is an issue the national Community of Christ church has been praying about and discussing for three years.

Sunday, 1,500 church delegates from around the country gave final approval to allow same-sex marriages inside its churches.

"We believe this is where God is directing Community of Christ, to be an inclusive body where everyone is welcome," Linda Booth, director of communications for Community of Christ, said.

In states like Missouri where same-sex marriages are still illegal, commitment ceremonies will now be performed.

"We will be able to provide covenant commitment ceremonies in this state, where it's not legal, for anyone who wants to make a long-term life commitment to one another," Booth said.

Any pastor, regardless of sexual orientation, can perform those ceremonies. Before the change, not everyone was allowed to be ordained in the church.

Linda Booth said the new changes prove the Community of Christ church is a caring community that welcomes everyone with open arms.

"They are loving people. They believe that they are to be Christ centered, they're to build communities of joy, hope, love and peace, and in order to provide our divine call, we must be inclusive in the way in which we welcome people around the table," Booth said.

The church expects the new policy change to be in effect within the next year.

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