Churches brace for gay-marriage ruling

Other churches are developing ways to include gay worshipers while refusing to condone same-sex unions—a practice that could increase if same-sex marriage is legalized across the country.

For example, a few gay parents have wanted to baptize their children in the Greek Orthodox Church, which opposes same-sex marriage. Bishops and priests might consider applying a broad principle that allows for infants to be baptized even if their parents are living outside of church teachings—as long as their godparents are in good standing with the church, said the Rev. Nathanael Symeonides, ecumenical officer of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.

“The church would not deny the child,” he said, adding, “A priest would never have to deal with this until recently.”

The Rev. Nathan Lino, senior pastor of the Northeast Houston Baptist Church in Texas, said he is spending more time blogging and preaching about how to handle a possible legalization of gay marriage. His 12-year-old church of 1,000 congregants opposes homosexuality, but he said he is advising his followers to speak gently with their children and others who may have different views.