UPDATED: 5/11 AP reports:
After decades of debate, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) on Tuesday struck down a barrier to ordaining gays, ratifying a proposal that removes the celibacy requirement for unmarried clergy, in the latest mainline Protestant move toward accepting gay relationships.
The change was endorsed last year by the Presbyterian national assembly, but required approval by a majority of the denomination’s 173 presbyteries, or regional church bodies.
The Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area, based in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minn., cast the deciding 87th vote Tuesday night. Sixty-two presbyteries have voted against the measure and balloting will continue, but the majority needed for ratification was secured in Minnesota.
According to reports on Twitter right now, the Twin Cities Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church has voted overwhelmingly to support an Amendment (10-A) that would effectively change existing policy and now allow partnered LGBT clergy to serve as ordained ministers. This vote means that a majority of Presbyteries have voted in the affirmative and the amendment is passed nationally. The final vote in the Twin Cities was 205 in favor and 56 opposed.
Our background is here.
Background on Amendment 10-A is can be found here.
The new rule will read:
G-6.0106b. Those who are called to ordained service in the church, by their assent to the constitutional questions for ordination and installation (W-4.4003) pledge themselves to live lives obedient to Jesus Christ the Head of the Church, striving to follow where he leads through the witness of the Scriptures, and to understand the Scriptures through the instruction of the Confessions. In so doing, they declare their fidelity to the standards of the Church. Each governing body charged with examination for ordination and/or installation (G-14.0240 and G-14.0450) establishes the candidate’s sincere efforts to adhere to these standards.
From the Presbyterian news site:
While the Office of the General Assembly awaits official tallies, it appears that a majority of the 173 presbyteries of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) have approved a change in PC(USA) ordination standards.
At its meeting on Tuesday, May 10, 2011, the Presbytery of Twin Cities Area became the 87th presbytery to approve an amendment that will remove the constitutional requirement that all ministers, elders, and deacons live in “fidelity within the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman or chastity in singleness” (G-6.0106b in the church’s Book of Order).