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Presbyterian Church does not amend their definition of marriage

Timothy Kincaid

July 9th, 2010

By narrow margins and by use of some strategic procedural methods, the committee recommendation to change the Presbyterian Church (USA)’s definition of marriage from “one man and one woman” to “two people” were not adopted by the general convention.

The committee report, which recommended the change, was instead sent to the larger church for continued study (along with a minority report calling for keeping the exclusive language). Then a procedural move allowed conservatives to block the convention from considering whether individual churches or ministers could have discretion in their own blessing of marriages.

Just prior to the Assembly’s action, the body accepted the recommendation of the General Assembly Civil Union and Marriage Issues Committee to approve the report of the Special Committee to Study Issues of Civil Union and Christian Marriage by a vote of 439-208. The Assembly decided to send both the special committee report and the minority report generated by three members of the special committee to the larger church for study after a motion to replace the final report with the minority report was defeated, 358-311.

Following that action was a parliamentary maneuver that resulted in the Assembly voting to let the approval of the special committee report “answer all pending items” on the remaining Assembly committee’s list of overtures that included changing the definition of marriage to “two people,” giving pastors and sessions discretion in deciding who may marry and whether they may use church property for the ceremony.

The vote was 348-324, with six commissioners abstaining.

So marriage will stay status quo for another two years in the PC(USA).

However, this convention did advance equality for gay Presbyterians. Provided that the presbyteries sanction the decision, the church will now let gay men and women who are in relationships serve in the church.



Lindoro Almaviva
July 9th, 2010 | LINK

you win some, you loose some. I still call it a great day.

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