INDIANAPOLIS - The US Episcopal Church on Tuesday approved a liturgy for clergy to use in blessing same-sex unions, including gay marriages in states where they are legal, becoming the largest U.S. religious denomination to approve such a ritual.

Delegates to its triennial convention voted 171-50 to approve the liturgy, titled "the Witnessing and Blessing of a Lifelong Covenant." Episcopal bishops had voted overwhelmingly on Monday in favor of the text.

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The US Episcopal Church, part of the worldwide Anglican Communion, is the 14th largest US religious denomination, with about 2 million members, according to the National Council of Churches.