This year, at the Presbyterian General Assembly, LGBTQ people & allies of the upcoming generation will claim their birthright at members of a just & inclusive church.

27 June 2008

Breaking News: Presbyterians Vote to Recognize Equal Rights for Families of Same-Gender Partners

Presbyterians Vote to Recognize Equal Rights for Families of Same-Gender Partners


SAN JOSE—The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (PCUSA) voted 516-151 (13 abstentions) Friday night to recognize equal rights for families of same-gender partners.

In so doing, the Assembly sought to “renew and strengthen the long-standing Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) commitment to equal protection under the law for lesbian and gay persons and the 216th General Assembly (2004)’s affirmation of the right of same-gender persons to civil union and, thereby, to all the benefits, privileges, and responsibilities of civil union.”

The Assembly further recognized that “married couples enjoy more than 1,000 protections, benefits, and responsibilities that are denied to committed couples in same-gender partnerships and their children.”

The Assembly also requested Presbyterians to urge state legislatures and the federal government to apply the principle of equal protection to same-gender couples and their children.

A special committee will be appointed by the Moderator, representing the range of perspectives within the PCUSA, to study the history and current policies governing marriage and civil union; the theology and practice of marriage in the Reformed and broader Christian tradition; the relationship between civil union and Christian marriage; the effects of current law on same-gender partners and their children; and the place of covenanted same-gender partnerships in the Christian community.

However, the action clearly expressed its intent that “This overture seeks to renew and strengthen the commitment of the PCUSA to equal protection under the law, encourage steps to reinforce this commitment and to affirm the importance of pastoral care and outreach to non-traditional families, including those same-gender commitment partners. This overtures advocates for equal rights and does not seek to redefine the nature of Christian marriage.”

An action seeking to consider redefining the understanding of marriage as a covenant and civil contract between “two people” instead of the current language of “a man and a woman,” was defeated earlier in the evening 540-161 with three abstentions.

Still, the action asserted the PCUSA’s “Support [for] congregations, sessions, and ministers of Word and Sacrament who are seeking to extend pastoral care as well as outreach and evangelism to same-gender couples and their nontraditional families who are more and more our neighbors on our streets and our fellow members in our pews.”

The full text of the Assembly action can be found at:
http://pc-biz.org/Explorer.aspx?m=ro&id=1601

For more information and related articles, please visit:
www.newchurchrevolution.blogspot.com
www.newchurchrevolution.googlepages.com
www.tamfs.org That All May Freely Serve

June 27, 2008
By Le Anne Clausen

New Church (R)evolution is the young adult program of That All May Freely Serve, which seeks full inclusion of all members of the Presbyterian Church (PCUSA).

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