Presbyterian compromise

Ordaining gay clergy is a local option
Presbyterians, torn by divisions over homosexuality for nearly three decades, agreed in June to a delicate compromise. The impetus behind the decision to allow exceptions to the ban on ordaining gay clergy—in the case of otherwise qualified candidates who disagree in conscience with the ban—was poignantly expressed at the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) General Assembly by former church moderator Marj Carpenter.

“I’m against the ordination of homosexuals, though I love ’em,” said the church elder from Big Spring, Texas. “But we’ve been fighting in this ditch for 28 years and the ditch is getting deeper.” Her voice breaking during her plea June 20 from the convention floor in Birmingham, Alabama, Carpenter said, “It’s starting to affect our mission work, our youth ministry and our evangelism, and I’m ready to try something else.”


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