Decision will allow for ordination of gay and lesbian individuals
WASHINGTON - The Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization, today applauded the removal of language excluding GLBT people from ordination from the constitution of the Presbyterian Church (USA). The full assembly voted to delete discriminatory language from the constitution following an Assembly Committee on Church Orders and Ministry recommendation. The vote will be passed down to the 173 presbyteries across the country, a majority of which must ratify the decision before it can take effect.
"The General Assembly's decision marks an historic moment for GLBT members of the Presbyterian Church," said Harry Knox, director of the Human Rights Campaign's Religion & Faith Program. "By removing exclusive language and allowing for full expression of their gifts for ministry, the General Assembly took a giant leap toward equality and unleashing the gifts of gay and lesbian people for service to the Church. This decision sends a message of acceptance to presbyteries across the country."
Since 1996, when the anti-gay language was originally added to the constitution, two General Assemblies have attempted to amend the language. In both instances, the presbyteries rejected it.
"The Human Rights Campaign congratulates its coalition partners whose hard work has paid off with this significant vote. Covenant Network of Presbyterians (CNP), More Light Presbyterians (MLP), and That All May Freely Serve (TAMFS) educated, organized, and prayed their way to this success. We thank them from the bottoms of our hearts." Knox said.
For more information about the 218th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA), please visit www.pcusa.org/ga218/.
For more information about CNP, please visit www.covenantnetwork.org. For more information about More Light Presbyterians, please visit www.mlp.org. For more information about TAMFS, please visit www.tamfs.org.
The Human Rights Campaign is America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against GLBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.
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