Wednesday, April 1, 2009

North Texas Presbyterians vote to ease rules on gay clergy

By SAM HODGES / The Dallas Morning News

In a break from the past, North Texas clergy and lay leaders of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) have voted to ease the way for ordination of openly gay pastors, deacons and elders.

Clergy and lay leaders of Grace Presbytery – the regional body covering 177 churches in North Texas and other parts of the state – voted Saturday to remove constitutional language requiring that ordained officers maintain “fidelity within the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman or chastity in singleness.”

The vote was 203-182 in favor of the change, with six abstensions, said Rob Allen, spokesman for Grace Presbytery.

The issue has come up in previous years, and Grace Presbytery has voted in favor of maintaining the barrier to ordination of gay pastors, deacons and elders.

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