With gay marriage now legal in six states, including Iowa and Washington, DC, it’s surprising to consider that California still enforces a ban on homosexual civil unions. But Pasadena’s All Saints Church has long been a haven for gay couples seeking the next best thing: relationship blessings.
This weekend, All Saints honors the 20th anniversary of its first blessing of a same-sex couple by hosting the “God, Sex & Justice” conference on Saturday and special church services on Sunday. Among the special guests participating in the event are Bishop Gene Robinson of New Hampshire, the first openly gay bishop in the Episcopal Church, and Bishop Mary Glasspool of Los Angeles, the first openly lesbian bishop in the Episcopal Church.
“It’s important for the human family to stop and celebrate its victories from time to time,” said All Saints Church rector Ed Bacon. “Blessing of same-sex unions has played a role in bending the arc of the universe toward justice. We’ve learned many lessons from this journey that will help us in all our work for social justice in the world.”
The Saturday event kicks off with a multimedia look at the last 20 years in gay issues from 9 a.m. to noon, complete with a Q&A session and conversation opportunities with Glasspool and Robinson. From 1 to 4 p.m., workshops will be held as well as a festive Eucharist service at which Glasspool will preach and Robinson will celebrate. The day will conclude with a 7 p.m. screening of “Love Free or Die,” a documentary on the work and witness of Bishop Robinson that premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on Jan. 23.
On Sunday, Robinson and Glasspool will reverse their roles, as Robinson preaches and Glasspool celebrates at the 9 and 11:15 a.m. services. All Saints Church is located at 132 N. Euclid Ave., Pasadena. For more information, visit allsaints-pas.org.