Two regional bodies of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) have rejected a proposed amendment that would allow non-celibate gays and lesbians to be ordained.
Majorities in the Presbyteries of Central Washington in Washington state and Palo Duro in Texas voted against the measure on Oct. 18. They were among the first, out of the denomination's 173 presbyteries, to vote on the controversial amendment.
In June, the General Assembly – PC(USA)'s highest governing body – approved an overture that would delete a requirement that clergy live in "fidelity within the covenant of marriage between and a man and a woman, or chastity in singleness" and replace it with language that would not single out a sexual conduct standard. more >>
While supporters of gay ordination say a recent vote by the highest governing body of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) gives the green light for gay clergy, one professor is arguing that the decision changes nothing.
In a soon-to-be published analysis, Dr. Robert A. J. Gagnon, associate professor of New Testament at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, said he believes there is a "reasonable possibility" that the actions by the 218th General Assembly of the PC(USA) last weekend in favor of homosexuality "will have no material effect on changing the denomination's stance against ordaining, unrepentant, homosexually active persons to church office."
During the biennial meeting in San Jose, Calif., the Assembly on June 27 approved an "authoritative interpretation" (A.I.) of the church constitution – which currently bans ordaining non-celibate gays and lesbians. The vote would allow gay and lesbian candidates for ordination to conscientiously object the current standard requiring fidelity in marriage (between a man and a woman) and chastity in singleness. And the local ordaining body would be required to discern whether the declared objection is disqualifying and consider such requests on a case-by-case basis. more >>