Sunday, February 22, 2009

Presbyterians (PCUSA) Continue Voting on Homosexual Clergy

173 regional bodies of the Presbyterian Church USA will decide by 2010 whether to begin allowing homosexual clergy.

Alabama splits the vote.

-- From "Homosexuals Could Head Presbyterian Congregations" Reported by: Rick Jackson, Birmingham CBS42-TV 2/20/09

The controversial stance of keeping homosexuals from joining the Presbyterian clergy has just been dropped. A group representing the majority of Presbyterians in Alabama has cast a vote that could call for a big division within the denomination.

Thursday's vote to change the fidelity and chastity clause has broken the barring for homosexuals in the Presbyterian clergy. The North-Central Alabama body of the denomination favored to drop the language set over a decade ago.

-- From "Presbyterian group votes no on gays' ordination" by Kay Campbell, Huntsville Times Faith & Values Editor 2/22/09

Representatives of North Alabama Presbyterians voted about 3 to 2 against church constitutional changes that would have removed one barrier to the ordination of ministers who are gay.

The local vote was 48 against and 34 for. That brings the vote of the 173 presbyteries nationwide to at least 40 to 23 against changing the wording in the church's Book of Order.

Despite gradual movement in the denomination nationally toward endorsing the change, with at least seven presbyteries who opposed it in the past changing their vote this year, the Rev. Warner Durnell, North Alabama's executive presbyter, said he heard no new arguments on either side of the issue Saturday and that the vote total seemed close to past outcomes.