Presbyterians Move Toward LGBT Equality

July 8, 2010
LGBT leaders in the Presbyterian Church (USA) are very hopeful that Presbyterian commissioners to the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA) have set a trend for more inclusion as they worked in committees on the first two full days of a full week of meetings, in Minneapolis that will close on July 10. More Light Presbyterians are blogging the events—and even live-blogged committee debates. The PC(USA) would be the largest denomination to allow same-sex marriage if the recommendations are passed.  The legislation is expected to come before the full body for debate and a final vote on July 8 or 9. The committees recommended that:
  • Pastors have discretion to celebrate legal weddings and civil union ceremonies;
  • The definition of marriage apply to “two persons” instead of “a man and a woman”;
  • There be one set of standards for ordination rather than having a separate standard for gay and lesbian candidates for ministry.
In the PC(USA) ordination equality is a constitutional change and will have to be ratified in regional Presbyteries across the country.  Two years ago, the General Assembly voted for ordination equality and went through the ratification process.  Although it did not pass, support reached historic levels and traditionally conservative areas like Alabama, Texas, North Carolina, Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, and Montana voted in favor of the amendment. GLAAD will continue to follow this story and provide updates as they become available.