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Presbyterian Church Approves Marriage Equality

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

Presbyterian ChurchAfter three decades of debate over its stance on homosexuality, members of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) voted on Tuesday to change the definition of marriage in the church’s constitution to include same-sex marriage.

The final approval by a majority of the church’s 171 regional bodies, known as presbyteries, enshrines a change recommended last year by the church’s General Assembly. The vote amends the church’s constitution to broaden marriage from being between “a man and a woman” to “two people, traditionally a man and a woman.”

The Presbytery of the Palisades, meeting in Fair Lawn, N.J., put the ratification count over the top on Tuesday on a voice vote. With many presbyteries still left to vote, the tally late Tuesday stood at 87 presbyteries in favor, 41 against and one tied.

Authored By Laurie Goodstein – See the Full Story at The New York Times

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Presbyterian Marriage Equality Passed in Lopsided Vote

Thursday, June 19th, 2014

Presbyterian Church USA LogoThe US Presbyterian Church became the latest denomination to accept marriage equality this afternoon.

RNS reports:

By a 76-24 percent vote, the General Assembly of the 1.8 million-member PCUSA voted to allow pastors to perform gay marriages in states where they are legal. Delegates, meeting in Detroit this week, also approved new language about marriage in the church’s Book of Order, or constitution, altering references to “a man and woman” to “two persons.” This change will not become church law until a majority of the 172 regional presbyteries vote to ratify the new language. But given the lopsided 3-1 ratio of the vote, approval is expected. Gay rights activists within the church rejoiced at their victory, which was remarkable for its margin of victory after multiple years of razor-thin defeats.

I still remember vividly when all the churches were against us. Amazing.

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Northern Ireland, UK: Party Leader “Treated Harshly” for Marriage Equality Support

Sunday, April 28th, 2013

Northern Ireland - google maps

from Google Maps

The Presbyterian Church is punishing the head of the Alliance Party for his support of marriage equality, Pink News reports:

Lord Alderdice, the predecessor to David Ford, the current leader of Northern Ireland’s Alliance Party, has said that Ford has been treated harshly by his church over his equal marriage support. Ford stepped down as elder at Second Donegor Presbyterian Church earlier this month, around controversy surrounding his support for equal marriage. His position on the issue will now be investigated by the church. Lord Alderdice has said that this is a difficult time for Ford, as his faith was of particular importance to him.

In the end, his position didn’t matter, as the Democratic Unionist Party blocked the bill with an effective veto. Sad.

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Ireland: Presbyterian Church Says Marriage Equality Will Demolish Society

Monday, October 1st, 2012

The Presbyterian Church has written to all Northern Ireland Assembly members (MLAs) stating its staunch opposition to equal marriage.

The assembly is debating a motion on same-sex marriage this afternoon.

The BBC reports, in its letter, the Presbyterian Church said it was “not merely an issue of conscience for Christian people and churches, but a very significant one for the whole of society”.

Authored By Scott Roberts – See the Full Story at Pink News

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Washington, USA: A Mother, A Son, and Marriage Equality

Sunday, July 22nd, 2012

Gay Wedding Expo in Washington, DCIt’s safe to say most mothers of sons look forward to dancing at their boy’s wedding. This is thematic fodder for many a storyline in romantic comedies, not the least of which is Debbie Reynolds’ plea to Kevin Kline in Paul Rudnick’s 1997 film In and Out: “We love you no matter what… as long as you get married. I need this wedding. I need some music, and some beauty, and some place cards before I die.”

The Rev. Melody Young wants to do much more than dance at her son Nathan’s as yet unscheduled and unplanned wedding – she’s looking forward to the day when she performs the ceremony. As a teaching elder (our term for minister) in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Melody is licensed to perform weddings in her home state of Washington, and authorized by our Book of Order to preside over worship and legally solemnize marriages.

Unless she wants to marry Nathan off to some charming future son-in-law.

Authored By Patrick Evans – See the Full Story at The Washington Post

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Presbyterian Church Rejects Marriage Equality Proposal

Saturday, July 7th, 2012

Presbyterian ChurchThe U.S. Presbyterian Church on Friday narrowly rejected a proposal by same-sex marriage proponents for a constitutional change that would redefine marriage as a union between “two people,” rather than between a woman and a man.

The 338-308 vote followed nearly four hours of heated debate at the Church’s General Assembly in Pittsburgh, a biennial gathering to review policy.

The Church, with around 2 million members, currently allows ministers to bless gay unions but prohibits them from solemnizing homosexual civil marriages.

Authored By Matt Stroud – See the Full Story at the Chicago Tribune

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USA: Two Protestant Denominations Debating Marriage Equality

Thursday, June 28th, 2012

USA: Two Protestant Denominations Debating Marriage EqualityTwo prominent Protestant denominations will be debating marriage equality at national meetings, starting this weekend.

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) General Assembly will meet in Pittsburgh from June 30 to July 7. Among the most contentious issues to be debated will be whether to conduct blessings for gay and lesbian couples in member churches.

The Episcopal Church’s triennial General Convention will be held from July 5 to July 12 in Indianapolis. One of America’s most progressive and liberal denominations, the Episcopal Church has been blessing gay and lesbian couples for many years. This year, the convention will discuss whether to change the legal definition of marriage within church liturgy to avoid gender designations.

Full Story from SDGLN

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Presbyterian Church Not Yet Ready to Embrace Marriage Equality

Sunday, September 4th, 2011

Presbyterian ChurchThe Presbyterian Church began ordaining LGBT ministers in July, and that will take some getting used to before performing same-sex marriages could be considered, according to a top church official.

“That’s a different battle,” said Cynthia Bolbach, moderator of the Presbyterian Church, according to the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle.

“I don’t think that just because this last vote came out in favor of ordaining gays and lesbians, that the church is ready as a whole to move and talk about same-sex marriage.

Full Story from The Advocate

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MN: Presbyterian Minister Acquitted by Church After Marrying Gay Partner

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

Minnesota Gay MarriageAn ordained minister of the Presbyterian Church USA was acquitted Monday by a church panel of charges that he violated the church constitution when he legally married his gay partner in California in 2008.

The case of the Rev. Erwin Barron, who was associate pastor at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Minneapolis in the 1990s, is likely to be appealed. It is the first time the divided church, which sidestepped the issue of gay marriage at its national convention last summer in Minneapolis, has dealt with the possible discipline of a gay pastor who legally married a same-sex partner.

Barron, a college professor in San Francisco whose church credentials remain with the Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area, faced a 21/2-hour trial before a presbytery panel of six at Oak Grove Presbyterian Church in Bloomington, Minn. After almost three hours of closed deliberations, the panel split 3-3. A two-thirds vote was required for conviction, which lawyers said could have led to defrockment.

Full Story from the Kansas City Star

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CA: Presbyterian Minister to Appeal Gay Marriage Decision

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

A retired lesbian minister who officiated at a number of same-sex weddings during the period in which they were legal in California, says she will appeal against the ruling of a Presbyterian court last Thursday which rebuked her for going against the constitution of her denomination.

The court ruled that Reverend Jane Adams Spahr’s actions sent contradictory messages about the church’s support of gay rights. The court, part of the Redwoods Presbytery district of the Presbyterian Church (USA) in Napa, California, did however, acquit Rev Spahr on a charge of failing “to further the peace, unity and purity of the church””

Rev Spahr was also praised by the court for “her prophetic ministry that for 35 years has extended support to ‘people who seek the dignity, freedom and respect that they have been denied'”.

Full Story from Pink News

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To subscribe to this blog, use the rss feed on the right, or use the form at right to join our email list. You can also email us at info@purpleunions.com. Or find us on Facebook – just search for Gay Marriage Watch (you’ll see our b/w wedding pic overlooking the Ferry Building and Bay Bridge in SF). We’re also tweeting daily at http://www.twitter.com/gaymarriagewatc.