The Washington National Cathedral, which is one of D.C.'s most recognizable buildings, will announce today that it will host same-sex marriages. The move is understandable, considering the Episcopal Church's position on marriage equality, but as DCist notes, the move is significant due to the church's visibility, status as a tourist attraction and given its use for official ceremonies.
Here's what the Washington Post said about the coming announcement:
In some ways, the announcement that is expected Wednesday morning is unsurprising for a denomination and a diocese that long ago took up the cause of marriage equality. But the cathedral’s stature and the image of same-sex couples exchanging vows in the soaring Gothic structure visited by a half-million tourists each year is symbolically powerful.
Even though it is known that the Episcopal Church, a small but prominent part of American Christianity, has been supportive of equality for gay men and lesbians, “it’s something for us to say we are going to do this in this very visible space where we pray for the president and where we bury leaders,” said the Rev. Gary Hall, who became dean of Washington National Cathedral in the fall. “This national spiritual space is now a place where [lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender] people can come and get married.”
The Episcopal Diocese of Washington has held same-sex ceremonies of various forms since about 2004, and voted to formalize the practice in 2006. This latest announcement means that the National Cathedral will be able to offer couples a "theologically proper ceremony."