The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), with almost 2 million members, has delivered a critical vote on Tuesday that will recognize same-sex marriages, ending decades of debate.
Bearing the official name Amendment 14-F, the approval has been brought with the help of a huge majority of the church’s regional bodies, 171 of them. The presbyteries, as they are called, has decided to change the church’s definition of marriage from that happening between “a man and a woman.”
“Marriage involves a unique commitment between two people, traditionally a man and a woman, to love and support each other for the rest of their lives,” goes the new definition.
The move is theorized to be a result of the huge loss among congregations and members over the past few years, after presbyteries, according to The New York Times, “ratified a decision to ordain gays and lesbians as pastors, elders and deacons.”
The decision was arrived at swiftly after it has been reported that a huge number of conservative Presbyterians have already gone from the church.
Religious organizations that already allows same-sex marriages include the Episcopal Church, the Quakers, the United Church of Christ, the Unitarian Universalist Association of Churches. In Judaism, the Reform and Conservative movements currently allows it as well.
“Some of us are calling it liberation day,” said Rev. William Blake Spencer, a homosexual pastor for Ocean Heights Presbyterian Church.
“It will be the last L.G.B.T.Q. issue that we debate and fight about, and finally our welcome comes without a ‘but’ or an ‘if.’”
The change in definition will take effect on June 21.