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New PC(USA) policy could require pastors to be LGBTQ-affirming

Logo for the Presbyterian Church (USA)'s 2024 General Assembly Image by: Presbyterian Church (USA) / Facebook

New PC(USA) policy could require pastors to be LGBTQ-affirming

Members of the Presbyterian Church (USA) voted 389-24 on Wednesday to add gender identity and sexual orientation to a list of protected classes in the denomination’s constitution. The change requires candidates for ordination to be vetted for their commitment to guarantee church participation and representation to protected classes and was approved 297-130. The Office of the General Assembly listed passing the policy as one of the most significant things commissioners did at the General Assembly Council June 25-July 4 in Salt Lake City, Utah. The policy is set to be sent to presbyteries for ratification.

What did those for and against the change say? There was significant debate on the proposal before it passed, the Office of the General Assembly reported. Those in favor of the proposal said they wanted to support the denomination’s current stance on individuals who identify as LGBTQ. Those against the proposal said the policy would exclude from ordination those who do not affirm LGBTQ lifestyles. The PC(USA) is known for allowing individuals who identify as LGBTQ to be ordained as ministers and elders and has supported same-sex unions as far back as 1978, according to its website. The denomination has said it values freedom of conscience and allows pastors to decide whether to officiate a same-sex marriage.

Dig deeper: Read Catherine Gripp’s report on the PC(USA) condemning Israel’s recent military actions in Gaza.

Elizabeth Moeller

Elizabeth Moeller is a breaking news intern for WORLD and a graduate of the World Journalism Institute.

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