Friday, March 13, 2009

PCUSA Kentucky Says YES to Homosexual Pastors

Presbyterian Church (USA) congregations in Central and Eastern Kentucky have agreed that a national ban on gay ministers should be overturned, raising fears of a schism in the denomination.

-- From "Kentucky presbytery votes to overturn ban on gay ministers" by Karla Ward, Lexington Herald-Leader 3/12/09

The commissioners of the Presbytery of Transylvania, which includes 56 Central and Eastern Kentucky counties, voted 83-61 Tuesday to approve an amendment that, if supported by the majority of the presbyteries in the United States, would open the door for gays and lesbians to be ordained as pastors, elders and deacons.

The proposal is being considered by each of the nation's 173 presbyteries. It would have to be accepted by a simple majority of them to take effect.

The Presbyterian Church (USA) has considered such amendments to its Book of Order several times since 1996, when an amendment was put in place requiring church officers to live "in fidelity within the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman or chastity in singleness."

Under the amendment, individual churches would be able to choose a gay or lesbian person for ordination under "really tight circumstances," said Richard Smith, general presbyter for the Transylvania presbytery. "We're not going to be ordaining anybody who's not a confirmed, solid Christian person. It's not a wide open door by any means," he said. "We take the question of ordination very seriously."

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