Some Presbyterian groups “grieved” while others praised a June decision by the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) to remove a constitutional clause that requires clergy to be married and faithful or single and chaste.
The 54 percent to 46 percent vote still waits approval by a majority of presbyteries.
In the past, similar moves failed twice to be ratified at the local level.
Delegates also approved allowing gay clergy to conscientiously object to prohibitions against gay clergy, leaving it up to local bodies to decide whether to ordain or reject them.
At the same time, the assembly refused to alter its definition of marriage, calling it a “covenant between a woman and a man.”
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