A proposed amendment to the
Presbyterian Church's (USA) constitution that would allow gay clergy
to serve as ministers and elders is one vote shy of being rejected.
The proposed amendment would strike out
language from the church's Book of Order that bans gay clergy
from serving in leadership positions. Backers would like to remove
the following passage: “Those who are called to office in the
church are to lead a life in obedience to Scripture and in conformity
to the historic confessional standards of the church. Among these
standards is the requirement to live either in fidelity within the
covenant of marriage between a man and a woman, or chastity in
singleness. Persons refusing to repent of any self acknowledged
practice which the confessions call sin shall not be ordained and/or
installed as deacons, elders, or ministers of the Word and
According to results posted on the
website of the Presbyterian Lay Committee, which opposes gay clergy,
86 presbyteries have voted against the change, 68 have voted in favor
and 19 remain uncounted.
With 19 votes left, the measure sits
just one vote shy from defeat, making it almost certain that the
Presbyterian Church will reject gay clergy again. A similar measure
in 2001 was defeated by a wider 46 to 127 margin.
Also in 2001, presbyteries in the
Presbyterian Church voted down an amendment (Amendment O) that sought
to prohibit Presbyterian ministers from blessing gay unions.