NEW YORK (AP) — The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has struck down a requirement that unmarried clergy remain celibate, removing a key barrier for gays and lesbians who want to be ordained.

Presbyterians endorsed the new policy last year at their general assembly, but needed ratification from the majority of its 173 presbyteries, or regional districts. The Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area in Minneapolis provided the key 87th vote Tuesday night.

Differences over the Bible and homosexuality have divided mainline Protestant groups nationwide and around the world.

A small number of Presbyterian churches broke away from the denomination ahead of Tuesday’s vote, but no major split is expected right away.

The new policy takes effect July 10.

The Presbyterian Church is based in Louisville, Kentucky and has about 2 million members.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (27)
  1. Lorenz says:

    “Who believe the Bible forbids same sex relationships”? It clearly and unequivocally does in Romans ch 1. Geez. Can’t they at least say that regardless of what the bible says they’ve decided to do it? Cowards.

    1. MARK says:

      What’s the Romans quote? (This is an honest question, I really don’t know.)

      1. T says:

        It is Romans 1:26-27. Also Leviticus 18:21-22, Leviticus 20:13, 1 Corinthians 6:9 and 1 Timothy 1:8-10.

      2. T says:

        Oh, sorry the actual quote is: “For this reason God gave them up to degrading passions. Their women exchanged natural intercourse for unnatural, 27and in the same way also the men, giving up natural intercourse with women, were consumed with passion for one another. Men committed shameless acts with men and received in their own persons the due penalty for their error.”

    2. T says:

      Great point, Lorenz. If you are going to practice a faith, then practice it. Sounds like the Presbees are joining up with the “MarkH religion is BS” crowd.

      1. eastside_evil says:

        I hope you have killed your neighbors when you found them doing anything other than praying on Sunday. I hope you stoned your family member to death for eating a lobster.

        Don’t pick and choose. Follow them or don’t.

        By the way, who wrote those words anyway? Some dude DECADES after Jesus died. The bible was written to Romans as an audience as a way for Jews to distance themselves from the ones the Romans held in disdain. Get educated and know what you’re talking about.

  2. Phil Mcrackin says:

    I agree. I have never seen the invisible man in the sky but I have seen gay people so I guess I believe in gay people.

    1. Wise up Phil! says:

      You may not have seen Him yet, but you will!

      1. eastside_evil says:

        yyyyyyyyyyyyeah…. Boogedy Woogedy. That’s what you’ll see.

  3. Seth Logan says:

    The Bible is BS look at this as one small example.

    “Women should be silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak, but should be submissive, as the law also says.” (1 Corinthians 14:34)

    1. Bob Lemke says:

      I agree explain this you bible dopes

      “But if … evidences of virginity are not found for the young woman, then they shall bring out the young woman to the door of her father’s house, and the men of her city shall stone her to death with stones…” (Deuteronomy 22:20,21)

  4. T says:

    What does this comment have to do with the story? Stay on topic, MarkH.

    1. markH says:

      T- My comment was meant to demonstrate the disconnect between what most of the Christian faithful claim to believe and what they actually practice. The Bible does mandate death for those offenses (and many others) that I mentioned in my comment. Now, if those same faithful who claim allegiance to these ideas do not stone non-virginal brides on their wedding night (as the Bible commands) why then do they feel justified in condemning homosexuals for their actions; actions I must say that are personal and private? My second point (albeit an implicit one) is that religion is divisive and oppressive to many people who do not share these ideas.

  5. Tom says:

    MarkH: I get their point.
    One of the following must be true:
    1) The Bible is false
    2) The Bible is true
    3) The Bible is true and false. As humans we should pick and choose what parts we “want” to believe in. It is ok to throw away any parts we do not like.

    1. Blizno says:

      Tom, #3 is not an option.
      Honesty demands that if any part of the Bible is said to be The Word of God, then every single letter in the Bible must be The Word of God.

      Mere humans do not have the wisdom to pick-and-choose which parts of the Bible they wish to follow for they cannot possibly understand God’s will.

      Either the Bible is 100% true or it is a human forgery. No middle ground is possible.

  6. Dave says:

    This is not all Presbyterians, only the mainline PC(USA). Unfortunately the media just uses the term “Presbyterians.”The PC(USA) is virtually apostate and has brought shame on the entire reformation. There are several biblically-faithful Presbyterian bodies in the US and Canada.

    This is a symptom and not at the heart of the problem. Once biblical authority has been rejected by a denomination, things like this just follow (although it may take a while).

  7. Hypochristians says:

    My invisible friend is stronger than your invisible friend

  8. DaveM says:

    So you have fake “pastors” having anal sex with each other, and “pastorettes” having oral sex. A church it isn’t.

    1. eastside_evil says:

      Dave, why do you care what kind of sex someone has? Mind your own business.

  9. Stephen Huot says:

    Do intelligent people really believe that the Bible is literally true?

  10. Zeke199 says:

    Seth Logan –

    The verse you cited has spiritual, cultural, & historical background and significance. It was common then in their culture for women to ask their husbands questions about the sermon while being delivered. This obviously would interrupt the pastor/speaker, so Paul (author of Corinthians) directed the women to remain silent (implicitly directing husbands to help prevent their talking). Spiritually, there must be order when a pastor delivers a sermon, just as you’d expect in today’s business meetings, seminars, or other venues where a speaker is given attention & respect. Also, women can hold nearly any leadership position in a church except for being the senior pastor/teacher, as several Bible verses state women are not to teach men. Precedent was established when Eve sinned first, and Adam was given responsibility to lead.

  11. Zeke199 says:

    It’s sad, but if this wing of the Presbyterian Church no longer wants to follow God, you can’t prevent it. You can pray that they’ll repent & fully folllow God’s Word but their apostacy was predicted in the BIble. Revelation chapters 2-3 give a solid prophecy of historic church history. Jesus elsewhere also asked whether He would find faith on Earth when He returns. Given the gay clergy thing, He may not find much faith or many true followers in the Presbyterian Church at His return…..

  12. John says:

    If church leadership does not need to be celibate anymore, how many sexual partners can the single youth pastor have before he or she is deemed as a poor example to the youth?

    1. Zeke199 says:

      Actually zero…….If he or she is obsessed or tawdry in talk or behavior, or is a poor example in any other manner, then youth can be adversely affected.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Watch & Listen LIVE