The largest Presbyterian denomination voted to change it's policy on marriage Thursday, allowing its pastors to officiate same-sex marriages in states where those marriages are legal.
Presbyterian Church USA delegates voted during the group's General Assembly to change language about marriage in its Book of Order from "a man and woman" to "two persons." (Via YouTube / Presbyterian Church USA)
Religion News Service reports 76% of the General Assembly voted for the change.
Presbyterian Reverend Randy Bush said in a statement, “This is a glorious day for the church and for LGBT people who have been seeking full inclusion here for decades." (Via The Huffington Post)
As expected, this controversial decision is bringing some backlash.
According to the Detroit Free Press, some PCUSA members have expressed their concern that this decision could negatively affect Presbyterian missionaries, especially in the Middle East. They noted they have 315 Presbyterian churches in Egypt alone.
The Presbyterian Lay Committee, a group opposed to same-sex marriage, called for members to resist the change. "You should refuse to fund the General Assembly, your synod, your presbytery and even your local church if those bodies have not explicitly and publicly repudiated these unbiblical actions."
The new language on marriage still has one hurdle before it becomes church law: a majority of regional presbyteries has to vote to ratify the change over the next year, though approval is expected.