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Mormon Church offshoot votes to begin performing marriages for lesbian and gay couples

The Community of Christ — an offshoot of the Mormon Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints — voted this week by more than the requisite majority to begin performing marriage ceremonies for lesbian and gay couples in states where it is legal. In states that have yet to establish marriage equality, the Community of Christ will offer commitment ceremonies to recognize the validity and importance of LGBT love.

The 2,000 person delegation, which met in Independence, Missouri, also voted to ordain people to all offices of the church, regardless of sexual orientation and relationship.

The votes still need to be approved by two governing bodies of the denomination, but Kendra Friend—a member of Community of Christ's communications and media relations team—said that she expects them to follow the vote of the delegation.

The Community of Christ has 250,000 members worldwide.

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