National Cathedral Leader: ‘Homophobia’ a Sin; Same-Sex Marriages Will Be Performed

By Penny Starr | October 7, 2013 | 1:37pm EDT

Rev. Gary Hall, dean of the Washington National Cathedral (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

( – The Very Rev. Gary Hall, chief ecclesiastical leader and executive officer of the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., said in a sermon on Sunday that “homophobia” and “heterosexism” are sins.

“In its wisdom, the church came to its senses and labeled both racism and sexism as sinful,” Hall said. “And now we find ourselves at the last barrier—call that barrier homophobia, call it heterosexism.

“We must now have the courage to take the final step and call homophobia and heterosexism what they are,” Hall said. “They are sin.

“Homophobia is a sin,” Hall said. “Heterosexism is a sin.

“Shaming people for whom they love is a sin,” Hall said. “Shaming people because their gender identity doesn’t fit neatly into your sense of what it should be is a sin.”

Hall said his sermon was prepared to mark the 15th anniversary of the death of Matthew Shepard, the gay man who was killed by two men in Laramie, Wyo., and the third anniversary of the suicide of another gay man at Rutgers University.

On the National Cathedral’s website, under the Equality of Marriage banner’s FAQ section, it states the church will perform same-sex weddings following the law passed in the District of Columbia allowing same-sex marriage.

“The Rt. Rev. Mariann Edgar Budde, bishop of Washington, subsequently gave her authorization for churches within the diocese—including the National Cathedral—to offer holy matrimony to same-sex couples if they felt called to do so,” the website states. “The Very Rev. Gary Hall, dean, later made the decision allowing same-sex weddings to be performed at the National Cathedral.”

“Our job, as Christians, is not only to proclaim that Gospel,” Hall said in the sermon. “Our job is to live it.

“And if we are faithful in proclaiming and living it, today’s generation of LGBT youth will thrive and grow and take their places around this table, with Jesus, as we bless, forgive, heal, and love the world,” Hall said. “Amen.”

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