Houston Church Performs Same-Sex Covenant Rite

Jeff Meadows (L) and Gary Patterson (R) were married at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church in Houston, Texas . [Conner Clifton/KUHF]
While same-sex marriages aren’t legal in the state of Texas, some churches are deciding to move forward. St. Stephen's Episcopal Church performed the first same-sex union ceremony in the city of Houston.

Last year, the Episcopal Church instituted a new policy which would allow dioceses to perform blessings of same-sex unions.

Gay marriages aren’t legally recognized by the state of Texas, but Gary Patterson and Jeff Meadows decided to tie the knot in the eyes of God at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Montrose.

This is Reverend Lisa Hunt, who presided over the ceremony

"For Jeff and Gary to be one of the first couples in our diocese was really an important statement that I wanted to make to the people who have been working to bring this day forward."

Hunt says that for this ceremony, which is called a "Witnessing and Blessing of a Lifelong Covenant", to have happened in Texas sends a powerful message to the public about the future of gay rights and is optimistic about gay marriage being legal in the state in the near future.

The couple had the option to have a private ceremony but Patterson says that they chose to make it open to the public because they understand what this rite means for gay rights.

"It is a cause. It is bigger than the couples. It goes beyond the couples. It goes beyond the church. It is a global thing for all GLBT [gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender] people."

Both Patterson and Meadow’s mothers were in attendance for the ceremony and they say they couldn’t be happier for their sons.

This is Mildred Patterson, Jeff’s ninety-three-year-old mother.

"I just think it was a beautiful ceremony. And I was glad that, at my age, I could participate with it."

Patterson and Meadows have been together for 14 years and members of the church couldn’t be happier for them.

Conner Clifton

Assistant Producer, Houston Matters

Conner got his start in radio in 2009 when he was an intern for the KUHF Newslab. Once his internship ended, he went on to found COOG Radio, the college radio station at the University of Houston...