Presbyterian Church to allow gay ministers

In a major reversal, the Presbyterian Church (USA) voted Tuesday to allow the ordination of gay folks as ministers. This brings the church in line with a number of other mainline Protestant churches. Sadly, the issue has already prompted a number of congregations to leave the church. But the vote went well, without too much controversy in the end. From the New York Times:

Although by the time the vote was taken in Minneapolis the outcome was expected, Presbyterian church officials said that even a few months ago they would not have predicted that the church was ready to change its policy.

“All of us are surprised,” said the Rev. Gradye Parsons, the church’s stated clerk, its highest elected official. He attributed the turnabout in the votes to both the growing acceptance of homosexuality in the larger culture, and to church members simply wearying of the conflict.

“We’ve been having this conversation for 33 years, and some people are ready to get to the other side of this decision,” he said. “Some people are going to celebrate this day because they’ve worked for it for a long time, and some people will mourn this day because they think it’s a totally different understanding of Scripture than they have.”

For those wondering, the sky did not fall yesterday, the ten plagues did not repeat, and I’ve seen no reports of goats becoming ministers.

Congratulations to the organizers who have worked so hard to bring about this change!

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  1. Posted May 11, 2011 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    This is great news. But I think it’s important to note that this only regards the Presbyterian Church (USA). There are several “flavors” of Presbyterians (EPC, PCA, Reformed, etc.) that are not part of PC(USA), which seems to me to be the most progressive of the Presbyterian denominations.

  2. Posted May 11, 2011 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

    To mirror what Jennifer has said, there are some Quakers who are LGBT accepting and affirming. However, Evangelical Friends can often be very homophobic. Friends United Meeting, a staunchly Christian Quaker organization has long prohibited queer employees from being coupled.

    However, their justification is that in Kenya, where many Friends have sought to convert the native peoples, the prevailing culture is polygamous. FUM’s rationale in making this judgment is to impress upon new Quakers that their prior behavior is now unacceptable. And though I disagree strongly with the sentiment and the paternalism behind it, I am still a member of FUM, for the good work that it does in other areas.

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