An official prayer that blesses gay unions has been approved by Episcopal bishops.
The bishops of the church approved the new liturgy at their General Convention in Indianapolis.
The resolution allows same-sex couples to make a vow to each other, exchange rings, and be declared "bound to one another in a holy covenant, as long as they both shall live."
The resolution still has to be approved by clergy and lay people.
If it is approved, the Episcopal Church will become the largest denomination in the United States with rites for same-sex unions.
Many members left the denomination after the church consecrated its first openly gay bishop in 2003.
Opponents say blessing gay couples will deepen those divisions.
The bishops also approved giving transgendered people the right to become ministers. That resolution also faces a final vote.