A proposal by marriage-equality supporters within the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) to redefine church marriage as a union between two people, instead of a man and a woman, was narrowly rejected late Friday.
A lively debate lasting four hours preceded the 338-308 vote to reject the proposal, made at the church’s General Assembly now underway in Pittsburgh.
“While it is disappointing that the Church missed this historic opportunity to move toward full inclusion, the fact that so many Presbyterians from around the country called for the Church to recognize love between committed same-gender couples was awe-inspiring to see,” said Michael J. Adee, executive director, More Light Presbyterians.
“We have more work to do to show those who oppose full inclusion how truly wonderful the gifts that committed, married same-sex couples bring to our church. We’re inspired by the progress we’ve made together and are just as committed to continuing this work, together.”
The 220th General Assembly discussed two different ways to expand the denomination’s understanding of marriage to include committed same-sex couples. While neither option ultimately collected the majority of votes needed to begin the ratification process, this discussion marked another step towards making the Presbyterian Church (USA) a truly inclusive church, Adee said.