In response to the House of Bishops’ debate over Resolution A049 (authorizing a churchwide rite for same-sex blessings), the Right Rev. Mark Sisk, Bishop of New York, in concurrence with his assisting bishops, announced on July 19th that — from September 1st — clergy in the Diocese of New York who feel called to witness the marriages of same-sex couples have episcopal permission to do so. A statement from the Right Rev. Andrew Dietsche (Bishop Sisk’s elected successor) stating his concurrence with the decision, follows Bishop Sisk’s announcement.
The Diocese of New York includes the boroughs of Manhattan, Staten Island, and the Bronx in addition to several downstate counties. The Diocese of Long Island, which includes Brooklyn and Queens, gave permission for clergy to witness civil marriages shortly after the New York state law was passed last summer. Yesterday’s announcement means that five of the six dioceses in New York practice marriage equality.