Presbyterian Church (USA) Considers Forcing LGBTQ Affirmation

Mar 2, 2024 by

by Josiah Hasbrouck, Juicy Ecumenism:

An increasingly revisionist Presbyterian Church (USA) will take up legislation at its 226th General Assembly June 25 – July 4 in Salt Lake City barring ordination of candidates who are not LGBTQ-affirming.

Designated OVT-001, the proposal, known as an overture in Presbyterian parlance, would change two sections of the PCUSA Book of Order. The first change alters section F-1.0403, “Unity in Diversity,” to read (changes in brackets):

“The unity of believers in Christ is reflected in the rich diversity of the Church’s membership. In Christ, by the power of the Spirit, God unites persons through baptism, regardless of race, ethnicity, age, sex, [gender identity, sexual orientation,] disability, geography, or theological conviction. There is therefore no place in the life of the Church for discrimination against any person. The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) shall guarantee full participation and representation in its worship, governance, and emerging life to all persons or groups within its membership. No member shall be denied participation or representation for any reason other than those stated in this Constitution.”

This addition of “gender identity, sexual orientation” may initially seem unproblematic in the first two sentences of this section. Christ can indeed unite diverse people to himself, including those who struggle with gender dysphoria and same-sex attraction. Implicit in the inclusion of the categories of gender identity and sexual orientation, however, is that there is nothing problematic about gender dysphoria and same-sex attraction.

This becomes clear in the rest of F-1.0403, which bars all discrimination against anyone in these categories (what the Rationale section of OVT-001 refers to as “protected classes”), especially regarding “worship, governance, and emerging life” in the PCUSA.

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