Presbyterians Vote to Allow Gay Clergy

Celibacy requirement to be scrapped
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 11, 2011 2:14 AM CDT
Updated May 11, 2011 4:50 AM CDT
Representatives of Presbyterian churches in the Twin Cities area vote to eliminate the celibacy requirement for gay and lesbian clergy. The Minnesota vote was the deciding one.   (AP Photo/Craig Lassig)

(Newser) – The Presbyterian Church USA has, after 33 years of debate, voted to allow the ordination of openly gay and lesbian ministers. A majority of the church's 173 governing bodies nationwide voted to scrap a requirement for clergy to live in "fidelity within the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman or chastity in singleness," clearing the way for the ordination of gay ministers, elders, and deacons, reports Reuters. Regional church bodies will be allowed to make their own decisions on the issue.

Some 19 of the church's regional bodies that voted against allowing openly gay clergy last time the church put the issue to the vote changed their votes this time around. "I finally decided at the age of 63 that it is inevitable," a church elder in California tells the Los Angeles Times. "I think it's like letting black people come to white churches, or letting women become ministers. It's inevitable."

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