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San Francisco Presbytery Permits Ordination of Lesbian

(RNS) After a lengthy battle, a San Francisco lesbian is a step closer to being ordained as a clergywoman in the Presbyterian Church (USA).
The Presbytery of San Francisco voted Tuesday (Nov. 10) to permit the ordination of Lisa Larges, 46, after she stated under a “scruple”
policy that she objects to the PCUSA’s rules preventing ordination of gays.
Ministerial candidates in the PCUSA are required to be in faithful heterosexual marriages or remain celibate, but gay activists say there have been gay ordinations that have gone unchallenged.
The vote permitting her ordination — 156-138, according to the San Francisco Chronicle — is expected to be appealed. The presbytery also voted to validate her role as ministry coordinator of That All May Freely Serve, a San Francisco-based group that advocates for full inclusion of gays and lesbians in the PCUSA.
Larges, a deacon at a San Francisco church who has been seeking ordination for half her life, said Wednesday that she considers the ordination vote to be a step forward.
“The times are changing and change is hard and change is especially hard for churches,” she said. “But it’s bringing us to something better and greater and that is the simple value of fairness.”
The Presbyterian Coalition, an organization that opposes gay ordination, said San Francisco Presbytery’s move was illegal.
“We believe that what San Francisco Presbytery did was unconstitutional, and we expect to see the error corrected,” said Sarah Hill, coordinator of the Richmond, Va.-based coalition. “The presbytery cannot ordain the candidate until the legal process is complete.”
Jack Haberer, editor-in-chief of The Presbyterian Outlook and a member of the task force that developed the “scruple” policy, said the presbytery has taken an incremental step.
“There’s already been enough signatories to a petition to stay the ordination itself,” he said. “That could take a year to 18 months to work through the church courts.”
By Adelle M. Banks
Copyright 2009 Religion News Service. All rights reserved. No part of this transmission may be distributed or reproduced without written permission.

  • cknuck

    The scruple law should never be change the church must be different from the world. I know it is difficult to stand against the rushing tide of debauchery, decadence and sexual indifference.

  • pagansister

    EXCELLENT. Change is hard but necessary.

  • Your Name

    We should have kept the blacks as slaves. It says it’s OK in the bible.

  • Chall8987

    “The scruple law should never be change the church must be different from the world.”
    If the church must be different from the world, then why do Christians so actively oppose civil marriage for same-sex couples?

  • Confessoressa

    Excellent point Chall8987. My guess would be that, given the opportunity, people don’t mind their religious beliefs being put into law, even if it excludes the religious freedom of others. Sad if it’s true though.

  • cknuck

    Y.N. quote, “We should have kept the blacks as slaves. It says it’s OK in the bible”
    YN are you just stupid or something, there is a big difference in church’s requiring morals in sexuality and you (I guess you mean you and your fellow white people) keeping “blacks as slaves. Amazing, rally your troops get them slaves back.

  • Confessoressa

    You can’t be gay and have sexual morals.
    Wait a minute….was that a religious news service? Oh, it was? Guess we shouldn’t put it into law then.

  • cknuckj

    Homosexuality is not moral, it’s not normal, it’s not natural, it’s non productive.

  • Confessoressa

    That’s called an opinion. Enforcing that opinion by law is an encroachment on the freedom of others. Why is that so difficult for you to comprehend?

  • cknuck

    confess so according to your last post you would have state law force the church to change their views about chastity and their standards of sexual morality?

  • Confessoressa

    Nope. There are lots of laws that exist not in line with various religious tenets. It is entirely possible for churches to maintain the integrity of their views without putting those views into law.

  • cknuck

    ya lost me on that one

  • Confessoressa

    Law does not exist to impose morality, cknuck. It is there to protect individual rights and impose order.
    There are lots of countries that make the prominent religion law and if you want to live in one like that, go make your own, somewhere far away from my country.

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