The church also voted, by an overwhelming majority, to change the language about marriage in the church constitution to "two persons" from a "man and a woman," according to More Light Presbyterians, a group that supports gay rights.The measures passed with strong majorities:
To take effect, that change would need to be approved by a majority of 172 local presbyteries, which have a year to vote, the church said in a statement. [...]
Close to half of the clergy in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) work in areas where same-sex couples can legally marry.
The convention hall fell silent as the vote counts were announced, in deference to a plea by the church’s moderator, leading the session, to be respectful of the divide.The PCUSA is not the first American religious denomination to embrace marriage equality, but each and every denomination to do so is a major step forward, especially as opponents of equality increasingly rely on "religious freedom" objections.
“There were some of us with tears of joy, and some of us with tears of grief,” said the Rev. Susan De George, stated clerk of the Hudson River Presbytery, in New York, a lesbian minister who years ago was among those brought up on charges for blessing same-sex unions. “After the vote, the first thing I did was to text a friend on the other side of the issue.”