David Bains, a religion professor at Samford University in Alabama who has researched and written extensively about the cathedral, said the church’s leaders have worked for years to balance serving their congregation in the nation’s capital, where gay marriage has been legal since 2009, and being a beacon for Episcopalians across the country….
In almost three decades as dean of the cathedral, he said, the Rev. Francis B. Sayre Jr. sermonized until his retirement in 1978 on subjects such as racial injustice and the Vietnam War. More recently, the Rev. Gary Hall, current dean of the cathedral, declared that “enough is enough” after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings in December, and said it was time for the church to take up the issue of gun control.
“This current action, however, is probably the most potentially divisive act the cathedral’s leadership has taken in its history,” Mr. Bains said.