Episcopal Church plans to 'break away' from N.D. Bishop's stance on same sex marriage

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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) In July, the U.S. Episcopal Church voted overwhelmingly to allow same-sex marriages in the church.

However, the Episcopalian leader, Bishop Michael G. Smith says he is resisting that policy that went into effect today.


Darcy Corbitt-Hall recently moved here from Alabama

"Coming to North Dakota and then suddenly realizing I don't have that ability in my church is very upsetting,” Corbitt-Hall says. “I can't align myself with organizations that don't treat everyone the same and don't work for full inclusion."

Along with Darcy, other congregants that attend Saint Stephen’s Episcopal Church, share the same beliefs.

Amy Phillips adds, "Marriage equality is a human right. Our church clearly wants to support that right and be able to celebrate the union of all people, any people that want to marry each other."

Dan Rice chimes in, "There's always a struggle within the church every time we move to a position of trying to expand that circle of acceptance and love. And it's sad I think when the leadership of the church is not able to do that for their own reasons.

Today marks the day where gay couples are allowed to be married in Episcopalian churches.

"When you say there's something wrong with gay marriage, then you're ultimately saying there's something wrong with gay people,” Corbitt-Hall announces. “And while I'm not gay, I do fall into that community. What's there to say that the next step would be, 'Well, transgender people aren't really welcome in the church because the bible says, or our interpretation of the bible is this,’ I don't like that."

Being a transgender woman, Darcy contemplated leaving the church. To her surprise, her congregants shared the same concern.

Corbitt-Hall remembers her congregation telling her, "We’re also angry. We’re as equally angry and as equally hurt and as equally troubled by this as you are and we're going to stand by as your community and say that we're not going to accept this, this is unacceptable. And that really gave me hope and it told me I'm in the right church."

Darcy plans to stay with the Episcopal Church amidst the Bishop's stance.

We reached out to Bishop Smith for comment but have not heard back. We also went to Gethsemane Episcopal Cathedral in South Fargo. A Reverend there would not go on camera but tells us that the Episcopal Church is equally divided.

However, his church is choosing to side with the bishop. In the meantime, Saint Stephen's Church will hold a congregational meeting on December 13th to break away from the bishop's policy.