Presbyterian court nixes gay compromise

No exceptions to fidelity/chastity standard
At the last biennial Presbyterian General Assembly, many gay-rights supporters along with many conservatives weary of decades-old fights approved a delicate compromise that kept the ordination standards of “chastity and fidelity” but allowed presbyteries to approve otherwise qualified gay and lesbian clergy candidates who morally objected to the rules.

The idea had been unanimously recommended by a diverse, 20-member theological task force that lifted up an 18th-century church tradition of conscientious exceptions. At the June 2006 General Assembly in Birmingham, Alabama, 57 percent of delegates passed an “authoritative interpretation” of the PCUSA constitution to permit the policy departure, even for noncelibate gay candidates.

 

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