On Sunday, July 10, changes to the Presbyterian Church (USA)'s constitution go into effect, allowing the ordination of openly lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender ministers, elders and deacons.
Ratification of these constitutional changes was assured on May 10, 2011, when a majority of the 173 presbyteries voted to change the policy through a nationwide ratification process. Voting on the amendment continued through July. Ninety-seven presbyteries approved the amendment which will become official policy for the entire denomination on Sunday, July 10.
"This Sunday, Presbyterians from Seattle to Nashville are praising God and celebrating. Our church has moved another step closer to fully embracing the love and inclusion taught to us by Jesus Christ," said the Rev. Janet Edwards, co-moderator of More Light Presbyterians, the oldest pro-LGBT faith organization that relates to the Presbyterian Church (USA). "We know God is at work when of almost all presbyteries voted more strongly for the welcome and inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender members than ever before, in the history of the Presbyterian Church."
While most of the media focused on the Presbyterians in May, when the policy was ratified by a majority of presbyteries, the actual policy change date will signify the real policy change for the Presbyterian Church (USA). Presbyterian groups and churches all over the country are celebrating the passage of policy change on Sunday, July 10. Some are choosing a moment for mission, some are opening worship services with a special invocation and prayer. To assist, More Light Presbyterians has created a special common liturgy and prayer that can be used for this purpose.
GLAAD has been working with More Light Presbyterians, That All May Freely Serve, Presbyterian Welcome, and the Covenant Network. GLAAD has media trained many of their leaders. GLAAD also worked between May 10 and June 10 to collect stories of what policy change in the Presbyterian Church means to you. There is still time to submit your own thoughts about the Presbyterian Church. Some of these results are also displayed on GLAAD’s Facebook page and Twitter account. GLAAD will continue to monitor coverage about the Presbyterian Church, to ensure the coverage is accurate and gives voice to those who are celebrating the policy change.