For the Episcopal Church, questions about homosexuality and same-gender relationships came to a head with the election of the Rev. Canon V. Gene Robinson. In a controversial move in 2003, Robinson made history as the first openly gay priest to become a bishop in his church.
“It was like a lightning bolt hitting in the middle of the living room,” said Rev. Maureen Doherty, an Episcopal priest and a campus minister at the University of Northern Iowa.
Since then, a lot has changed in her church and in her state. After Iowa removed barriers in 2009 that had kept same-sex couples from marrying, Doherty, a lesbian, wed her partner. Doherty now has permission from her bishop to wed other same-sex couples whereas before, she was limited to offering a blessing.