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Presbyterian Church (USA) votes to allow marriages

Timothy Kincaid

June 19th, 2014

With 2.8 million members, the Presbyterian Church (USA) is the eighth largest Protestant denomination in the United States. And as we reported yesterday, the denomination is meeting this week in Detroit, where its Marriage Committee passed recommendations that the denomination clarify their support for marriage equality. They have now done so.

Detroit News

The U.S. Presbyterian Church’s highest council Thursday voted to sanction same-sex marriage.

The assembly approved an amendment to the church constitution that would redefine marriage as between “two people” instead of “a man and a woman.” It also approved allowing its ministers to perform marriage ceremonies for same-sex couples in states where same-sex marriages are legal.

The amendment to the Book of Order will require ratification by the presbyteries. But, for all practical effect, same-sex marriages may now be officiated and blessed within Presbyterian churches.

A liveblog of the proceedings is provided by More Light Presbyterians.



June 20th, 2014 | LINK

That popping sound you hear is heads exploding across the protestant universe.

June 20th, 2014 | LINK

My thoughts of gratitude go to Rev. Janie Spahr, who at great sacrifice to herself, was a major leader in this herculean task within the Presbyterian Church. Gratitude is due to all who fought this good fight over so many years!!

June 20th, 2014 | LINK

The PC(USA) finally joins the United Church of Christ (since 2005), the Unitarian Universalists, the Episcopal Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Metropolitan Community Churches, and several other religious bodies in affirming marriage equality.

However, after the Windsor and Perry decisions, and after 20 states have marriage equality, the PC(USA) is hardly leading edge or prophetic.

Further, I predict the presbyteries (regional bodies) which tend to be more conservative than the General Assembly, will defeat these changes over the next year.

Sharon B
June 20th, 2014 | LINK

I am sure this will smoke out the vocal bigots at my NoVa church. Last time this came up, it was very entitled whining , “Why do they bring this up every assembly? “

June 20th, 2014 | LINK

Membership in the Presbyterian Church (USA) is about 1.8 million, not 2.8 million. Please correct the post.

June 23rd, 2014 | LINK

Also of note: the Moravian Church in North America – Northern Province had their Synod (full church meeting) this weekend and approved the ordination of gay and lesbian pastors! Quite a weekend for North American Protestants!

June 23rd, 2014 | LINK

The Episcopal liturgy that has been approved for the blessing of a same-sex relationship is, at best, separate-but-equal. It’s not a marriage ceremony. Bishops for the two Diocese’ I have been affiliated with as an adult, Central Florida, and the Diocese of Alabama, both have not ratified its use.

I would not crow that the Episcopal Church has embraced equality yet. At least 18 of the 99 Dioceses do not use this liturgy. Another 12 have not reported whether they do or not. That’s 30 Dioceses out of 99, or 30% of the Episcopate that doesn’t subscribe to marriage equality.

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