The Presbyterian Church (USA) has approved changes to its constitution allowing it to recognize the marriages of gay and lesbian couples.

Last year, church officials agreed to changes that would allow clergy to marry gay couples in the 37 states, plus the District of Columbia, where it is legal.

A majority of regional presbyteries were needed for the amendment to take effect.

The amendment reached its needed majority of “yes” votes from at least 86 presbyteries on Tuesday.

The Rev. Robin White of More Light Presbyterians, which lobbied for the change, applauded passage.

“So many families headed by LGBTQ couples have been waiting for decades to enter this space created by their families within the church communities,” White said.

The change will take effect June 21, after all regional bodies finish voting and the votes are tallied.

With nearly 1.8 million members, the Presbyterian Church becomes the largest Protestant group to allow gay couples to marry churchwide.

The Episcopal Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America allow congregations to decide the issue without formally recognizing marriage equality.