In Minneapolis, Minn., May 10, 2011, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) crossed an historic threshold as Presbyterians in the Twin Cities area voted to eliminate all official barriers to the ordination of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people as ministers and lay leaders in their 2.4 million member denomination. With their vote the Twin Cities Presbyterians were the 87th Presbytery (a regional governing body) to vote yes, giving the denomination the majority of votes needed to approve the landmark change.
â€œPassing this amendment makes clear the good news that the Presbyterian Church welcomes and values every person â€“ because Jesus does. Its passage removes an enormous stumbling block for many who would otherwise be drawn to following Jesus,â€ said the Rev. Mary Lynn Tobin, Co-Moderator, Covenant Network of Presbyterians.
PCUSA’s acceptance of LGBT ministers is another major step for mainline protestant denominations in the United States. With the passage of the Presbyterian Amendment 10-A, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender ministers are now welcome to serve in the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 6th largest mainline protestant denominations, ministering to an approximate 10.3 million members and millions more non-members. Of the six largest Protestant denominations in America, only United Methodists and American Baptists remain closed to LGBT clergy.
To quote Vice President Biden, this is a big fucking deal.
There will surely be talk of schism, just as there always is every time a denomination opens its doors wider. It usually fizzles out pretty quickly, but if congregations leave, so be it. I’ve long said that it’s better to have a smaller righteous church than a larger church that teaches against the basic principles of God.