America's Largest Presbyterian Denomination Votes to Approve Marriage Equality

WASHINGTON – Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, commended the Presbyterian Church (USA) for its vote Tuesday to embrace marriage equality in the church's constitution.

“The Presbyterian Church has sent a powerful message: that loving, committed couples are all equal,” said Jay Brown, HRC Director of Foundation Program Strategies. “LGBT Presbyterians and their families are finding true acceptance in their faith community. We commend the church’s General Assembly and its 171 presbyteries for their commitment to the Christian values of inclusivity and love. No one should ever have to choose between who they are, whom they love and what they believe.”

The church’s constitution will now read that the definition of marriage is “two people, traditionally a man and a woman,” but ministers will not be required to perform same-sex marriages. This action follows the church’s vote in 2011 to ordain LGBT people as as pastors, elders and deacons. The Presbyterian Church (USA) is the largest Presbyterian denomination, with 1.8 million members, and now joins dozens of faith communities - including the United Church of Christ, the Episcopal Church, Reform Judaism and others - in accepting marriage equality.

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