Religious leaders open their arms, altars for ceremonies to continue

Much of the attention about this week’s same-sex weddings is focused on City Hall, but churches and other religious centers are also gearing up for the festivities.

On Friday, Congregation Sherith Israel on California Street will host its first same-sex wedding since the congregation began in 1850.

The Swedenborgian Church of San Francisco on Lyon Street first performed wedding ceremonies for same-sex couples in the 1990s, and today and Wednesday and June 25-26, they will offer free ceremonies to couples.

The Rev. Rachel Rivers said the church has long married gay couples before it became socially acceptable, such as it did for couples of different races or religions.

“This church sees marrying same-sex couples as continuing in that tradition,” Rivers said.

The Rev. Greg Stewart of the First Unitarian Church intends to accommodate same-sex couples wanting to marry. He’s parking a decorated van of the Franklin Street church at City Hall to perform “weddings on wheels.”

Pastor Dr. Wilfried Glabach of the First Congregational Church on Polk Street — the second-oldest church in The City — said he had received calls from same-sex couples in Oklahoma and Colorado wanting to wed.

The Rev. Hiroshi Abiko of the Buddhist Church of San Francisco said the church has been conducting them for 30 years. “America’s kind of slow for awakening,” Abiko said. “What is true and real is equality.”

dsmith@sfexaminer.com

Bay Area NewsLocal

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Methamphetamines (Sophia Valdes/SF Weekly)
New search launched for meth sobering center site

Pandemic put project on pause but gave health officials time to plan a better facility

Hasti Jafari Jozani quarantines at her brother's San Francisco home after obtaining several clearances to study at San Francisco State University. (Photo courtesy Siavash Jafari Jozani)
Sanctions, visas, and the pandemic: One Iranian student’s bumpy path to SF State

Changing immigration rules and travel restrictions leave some overseas students in limbo

Woody LaBounty, left, and David Gallagher started the Western Neighborhoods Project which has a Balboa Street office housing historical items and comprehensive website dedicated to the history of The City’s West side. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Outside Lands podcasts delve in to West side’s quirky past

History buffs Woody LaBounty and David Gallagher have been sharing fun stories about the Richmond and Sunset since 1998

After the pandemic hit, Twin Peaks Boulevard was closed to vehicle traffic, a situation lauded by open space advocates. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
New proposal to partially reopen Twin Peaks to vehicles pleases no one

Neighbors say closure brought crime into residential streets, while advocates seek more open space

Protesters rally at the site of a proposed affordable housing project at 2550 Irving St. in the Sunset District on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. (Ming Vong/S.F. Examiner)
Sunset District affordable housing discussion flooded with ‘scare tactics and hysteria’

Project would provide 100 units, some of which would be designated for formerly homeless families

Most Read