Lisa Larges May Be First Openly Gay Pastor in Presbyterian Church

March 23, 2009
After more than 20 years of applications, rejections, trials and hearings, the Presbyterian Church USA is again hearing arguments in a regional trial on whether openly gay, Lisa Larges, may be ordained under recent reforms that provide some discretion by the regional "presbytery." This time, a live blog on the Bilerico Project is recording events from the church hearing that will decide if her ordination will move forward.  In a San Francisco ABC affiliate interview, Larges, who is blind, said, "We are all equal before God."  The current hearing is a challenge to the San Francisco Presbytery that voted in January 2008 to move Larges forward into the next step toward ordination. Blogging from this week’s hearings, Ann Purdy explained that the people bringing the charges suggest that the presbytery delegates misunderstood the issues surrounding Larges’ ordination in 2008.  The timing of the hearings is especially significant as it coincides with a nationwide vote on a constitutional amendment that would delete that language that now requires marriage between a man and a woman or celibacy to be ordained within the national organization of Presbyterian congregations, Presbyterian Church USA (PCUSA).  Half of the 173 regional presbyteries must approve of the amendment for it to take effect-and this year’s vote includes many presbyteries who are voting for equal ordination for the first time. Lisa Larges is the director of the program, That All May Freely Serve . The organization hosts information on the hearing and other work for equality in the Presbyterian Church.