Presbyterian Church rejects gay marriage proposal

July 10, 2012 by  
Filed under newsletter-miscellaneous

USA, July 8, 2012: Opponents of the change argued the move would alienate the Church from Presbyterian Churches in other countries.

The U.S. Presbyterian Church has rejected a proposal by same-sex marriage proponents to change the definition of marriage as a union between “two people”.

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

If it had passed the definition of marriage would have been changed to a union between two people which could mean of the same sex. The original definition clearly states that marriage is a union between a woman and a man.

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

Opponents of the change argued the move would alienate the Church from Presbyterian churches in other countries.

Michael Wilson, of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, told the General Assembly the proposal threatened to “tear the Church apart.”

A compromise proposal that would have changed the Church’s interpretation of the Book of Order – it’s constitution – while leaving the marriage language intact, was rejected by a vote of 397-266.

The legalization of same-sex marriage has created a quandary for some churches in the United States.

While gay parishioners have pushed for churches to sanctify their marriages, other parishioners have said marriage should be reserved for heterosexual couples.

Some Protestant clergy have elected to officiate at gay weddings, while Churches for the most part have been unable to reach a consensus regarding gay unions.

A Presbyterian Church survey conducted in February found that 51 percent of its members opposed same-sex marriage.

In a Presbytery Outlook magazine survey about how the Church’s approach to same-sex marriage has affected individual churches, Presbyterian leaders claimed that about seven percent of their congregants had left since January 2011.


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