Early votes oppose striking Presbyterian ban on gay clergy

Posted: Friday, November 30, 2001

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) -- A proposal to repeal a ban on gay and lesbian clergy from the constitution of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has received little support in early voting.

Of the 24 presbyteries, or regional legislatures, that voted on the measure by November, only two, Baltimore and eastern Oregon, supported the idea.

For the gay clergy ban to be abolished, a majority of the 173 regional legislatures must ratify the proposal, which was approved in June at a meeting of the church's General Assembly.

The regional groups, or presbyteries, will continue voting over the next several months.

A similar effort was defeated in 1997. The gay clergy ban requires ministers to live, ''in fidelity within the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman or chastity in singleness.'' Homosexuals are accepted as church members.



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