The final presbytery in the Presbyterian Church USA has voted, and the amendment to permit the ordination of openly gay persons has been defeated—for now. The margin spread was only two percentage points: 51% to 49%. This is the third time the amendment has been put to a vote, and in this election thirty-four presbyteries changed their votes from previously negative to affirmative. Thirty-four of seventy-eight positive votes!
The Detroit presbytery has already put forth the question to be addressed in the 2010 General Assembly, and the vote will be put to the presbyteries in 2011. It will pass. It will pass because supporters are already being marshaled and organized for education and conversation. This is one more step in the groundswell of support that I believe will lead to marriage equality on a federal level.
It is my fervent wish that the civil victory that is imminent will become a spiritual victory as well, however more slowly accomplished. The church will ultimately learn the expression of God’s grace through unconditional acceptance. I pray that I will live to see it.