San Francisco- Yesterday, the Presbyterian Church (USA) announced its decision to allow the ordination of openly gay and lesbian clergy, elders and deacons. The church is one of the largest Christian denominations in the country with over 2.3 million members and about 11,000 congregations.
Equality California Institute Boardmember Rev. Abel Lopez, All Saints Church, Pasadena, California, said: “The Presbyterian Church USA joins the United Church of Christ, the Episcopalian Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America as denominations that have eliminated official barriers to full membership, leadership and service for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons.
“This is an occasion of great celebration throughout the globe and especially for the Church’s ability to continue the work of co–creating an inclusive world in which justice, peace and love are enjoyed by all and not just a few.
“I am absolutely rejoicing in the work of God’s spirit and deeply grateful to those who throughout the years have worked so hard to make the church an image of the inclusive and unconditional love of God for all persons.”
Statement from Equality California Boardmember Rabbi Emeritus Steven B. Jacobs, Temple Kol Tikvah, Woodland Hills, California:
“The silence of the church and religious life has been broken. The courageous Rev. Janet Edwards deserves a thunderous ovation for providing greater acceptance for all of God’s loving children. “The old walls of exclusion are coming down. The gates are opening. This is day of Godliness. Let us rejoice and be glad therein.”
Equality California (EQCA) is the largest statewide lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights advocacy organization in California. Over the past decade, Equality California has strategically moved California from a state with extremely limited legal protections for LGBT individuals to a state with some of the most comprehensive civil rights protections in the nation. Equality California has passed more than 70 pieces of legislation and continues to advance equality through legislative advocacy, electoral work, public education and community empowerment.