At its gathering in Detroit on
Thursday, the Presbyterian Church (USA) voted to allow its clergy to
marry gay and lesbian couples.
A stunning 76 percent of church
delegates voted to allow clergy to marry gay couples in the 19
states, plus the District of Columbia, where it is legal, the AP
Over the coming year, regional
presbyteries will vote on the change. A majority is needed for the
amendment to be passed.
At its 2012 convention in Pittsburgh,
delegates narrowly (338-308) voted down a similar measure.
Presbyterians are poised to become the
biggest Christian group in the United States to allow its
congregations to support marriage equality.
Opponents warned that the change would
create division between the church and other more conservative
Presbyterian churches outside the United States. Backers, on the
other hand, argued that the church should lead by example.
In 2010, delegates voted in favor of
allowing non-celibate gay clergy, a policy change decades in the