After more than 30 years of fighting, advocates of permitting gay people to serve as ministers in the Presbyterian Church have won the day after a majority of its congregations voted in favor of the move. The denomination, which counts more than 2 million Americans as members, has slowly been moving toward a more tolerant, inclusive view regarding homosexuality. The church’s vote to allow the ordination of gay clergy delighted those around the world who support LGBT rights and more open societies. —KDG
Los Angeles Times:
It was the fourth time the church had voted on issues related to gay ordination, and the votes reflect a shift in attitudes within the church, and within American society, as public attitudes against homosexuality have softened. Since the last time the matter was brought to a vote, in 2008-09, some 19 presbyteries have switched their votes from “no” to “yes,” including some in relatively conservative parts of the country, such as central Nebraska and northern Alabama.
Linda Fleming, an elder and deacon at Knox Presbyterian Church in Ladera Heights, which hosted the Pacific Presbytery meeting, said she was among those who had changed her mind on the issue in recent years.
“I finally decided at the age of 63 that it is inevitable,” she said. “I think it’s like letting black people come to white churches, or letting women become ministers. It’s inevitable.”
Still, she couldn’t help but express surprise. “For the Presbyterian Church, which is a mainline church, a graying church, it’s something.”
Presbyterians support LGBT equality at a Capital Pride Parade in Albany, N.Y., in 2009.