May 11th, 2011
03:43 PM ET

Presbyterian Church U.S.A. to allow gay and lesbian clergy

(CNN) - The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) on Tuesday voted to allow the ordination of openly gay and lesbian ministers.

The church put the vote to its 173 presbyteries, or governing bodies, nationwide.

On Tuesday, the Twin Citites Area presbytery, which covers Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota, became the 87th presbytery - and the deciding vote - to approve an amendment that will remove the constitutional requirement that all ministers, elders and deacons live in "fidelity within the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman or chastity in singleness."

The change, which opens up the possibility that people in same-sex relationships can be considered for ordination, is expected to take effect starting on July 10. It is the latest move by a Protestant denomination toward the inclusion of gay and lesbian clergy.

"I see this as an opportunity to build a stronger church. Faithful and qualified lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Presbyterians will be able to openly serve the church with energy, intelligence, imagination and love," said Rev. Dr. Janet Edwards, a Presbyterian minister in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, soon after the vote.

Read the full story here.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Gay marriage • Homosexuality • Presbyterian • United States

soundoff (81 Responses)
  1. JulieK

    Any Presbyterian Church (USA) folks posting here? Just wondering...

    As it happens, I was at our Presbytery meeting when we voted on this issue (it had already passed the Minneapolis-St. Paul Presbytery when we voted, but we still debated about it because the issues are important). The language was changed from asking specifically about an officer's relationship status to asking the governing bodies to consider each potential officer's call, gifts for ministry, and general suitability for ministry leadership (which, imho, is how it should be). The language that was adopted actually was a variation on the ordination requirements that were in place from 1729-the 1980's. Whether a particular church or other governing body chooses to elect G.L.B.T officers (deacons, elders, ministers) is up to them.

    All God's people (ga.y or straight) were already welcome as members. And no, clergy cannot perform marriage ceremonies as a result of this vote.

    But an important thing to come out of all of this is that, while these votes were hard and sometimes contentious and often very close, we continue to respect and love and care for one another as church together through all of it. Jesus expects that of all of us. And we continue to seek to honor God in our churches, to be faithful and true churches of Jesus Christ.

    June 4, 2011 at 9:48 am |
  2. david

    Good for the church!


    May 15, 2011 at 12:31 am |
  3. T-party

    @ Adelina you are strong in your faith and thats fine. Most humans on earth I would guess are somewhat religous maybe 90% or more are. I am not trying to convince you otherwise. My wife and kids are devout. My elderly parents are devout. We love each other dearly.

    May 14, 2011 at 11:43 am |
  4. T-party

    Also Adelina many child pervs only go after/attracted to opposite their se-xes??? So you really brought a lame argument.....

    May 14, 2011 at 11:40 am |
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