US Presbyterian Church allows gay weddings

2014-06-20 11:31
(Steve Dykes, AP)

(Steve Dykes, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

June 19 - A gathering of US Presbyterian Church elders and ministers voted on Thursday to allow their clergy to perform same-sex weddings, in a major reversal for one of the largest mainline Protestant denominations, a church official said.

The move came during a meeting in Detroit, two years after the Church's highest judicial body upheld an ecclesiastical rebuke against a lesbian Presbyterian minister for officiating at same-sex weddings in California.

A number of Christian denominations have grappled in recent years with how to address the wishes of gay and lesbian couples to marry, which is now legal in 19 US states and the District of Columbia.

The Presbyterian Church in 2011 removed its prohibitions on openly gay clergy and has a long tradition of baptising children of same-sex couples.

The vote by a group of Church elders and ministers to allow clergy to solemnize gay weddings was 371 in favor and 238 opposed, said Gradye Parsons, clerk of the Church's General Assembly.

New rules

The new rules, which take effect on Saturday, give clergy the choice of whether to preside over same-sex marriages in states where gay nuptials are legally recognised, while providing local church councils discretion over whether to host such ceremonies, Parsons said.

The Church previously only permitted its ministers to bless unions between two men or two women, so long as pastors did not state or imply the couple were actually being married.

The same body in Detroit also voted to change the language of the Church's Book of Order to state: "Marriage involves a unique commitment between two people, traditionally between a man and a woman." The original passage says: "Marriage is a civil contract between a man and a woman."

That change will require the approval of local church leaders and will take at least a year to come into force, Parsons said.

The Presbyterian denomination had more than 1.7 million active members as of last year.

The Church has lost more than 500 000 members over the past decade, and Church leaders have expressed concern that an endorsement of same-sex marriage could spur an exodus of parishioners who view it as incompatible with biblical teachings.

The Church's General Assembly in July 2012 narrowly voted to reject a proposal to redefine marriage as a union between "two people" rather than as between a man and a woman.

The Presbyterian Church is not the first religious faith to allow its clergy to perform same-sex weddings. Reform and Conservative Jews, Unitarian Universalists and the United Church of Christ allow their clergy to do so, but the United Methodist Church, the nation's largest mainline Protestant denomination, forbids it, according to the Pew Research Center.

Read more on:    us  |  gay rights  |  religion
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
6 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Fashion
 

6 life hacks you simply have to know

A few simple tricks can make your life so much easier!

 
 

For chic geeks...

Device lets disabled people talk through their nose
It’s THIS easy for someone to steal your ATM pin!
This is why you should install iOS 8
17 photo illusions that look so real

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Pre-order your iPhone 6 at kalahari.com

Hurry and pre-order your own iPhone 6 now at SA’s favourite online store!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

Mind blow low prices on electronics

Get either the Prestigio multiphone or Proline tablet 7” tablet for only R699. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Barbie toys

Save 30% on all Barbie toys and accessories. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Baby extravanganza month at kalahari.com

Celebrate baby month with a wide range of awesome baby products. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

It may feel like you are treading water and going nowhere fast. You may want to get off the merry go round. By pushing yourself...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.