Media Coverage After General Assembly Marriage Vote

Media coverage roundup after the General Assembly narrowly disapproved marriage equality legislation.

Presbyterians Reject Redefinition of Marriage, Associated Press
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) narrowly rejected a proposal to revise the traditional definition of marriage on Friday, a year after it struck down a barrier to ordaining gays.

The Presbyterian General Assembly, meeting in Pittsburgh, voted 338-308 against changing how marriage was defined in the church constitution from a "civil contract between a woman and a man" to a "covenant between two people." The assembly also rejected measures that would have affirmed a traditional definition of marriage or sought more theological study of the issue...

Michael Adee, executive director of the gay advocacy group More Light Presbyterians, called the outcome "a heartbreaking moment, a disappointing moment." Several delegates and observers wept after the vote. "It's a moment to grieve and it's also a moment when we pick up and keep doing the work," Adee said. "The conversation isn't over."
Presbyterians Vote to Keep Definition of Marriage, New York Times
In a close vote on an issue that has long divided mainline Protestant churches, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) voted on Friday against changing the definition of marriage in its constitution from a union between “a man and a woman” to a union between “two people.”

The vote at the church’s biannual convention in Pittsburgh was 338 to 308, with 2 abstentions. But the decisive generational shift that lies ahead for the church was made clear in a separate tally of votes by seminary students and young adult advisory delegates, known as YAADs. The students voted 82 to 18 percent in favor of changing the definition of marriage, and the young adult delegates voted 75 to 21 percent — but their votes were solely advisory.

The Rev. Katharine Rhodes Henderson, president of the Auburn Theological Seminary in New York City, said, “If the YAADs had voted, this probably would have passed.”
Presbyterian church narrowly upholds ban on solemnising same-sex marriages, UK Guardian
The US Presbyterian church has narrowly rejected a proposal for a change in its constitution that would have redefined marriage as a union between "two people", rather than between a woman and a man.

The 338-308 vote followed nearly four hours of heated debate on Friday at the church's general assembly in Pittsburgh, a biennial gathering to review policy.

The church, with around 2 million members, currently allows ministers to bless gay unions but prohibits them from solemnising homosexual civil marriages...

Following the session, Neal Presa, a pastor at Middlesex Presbyterian church in New Jersey who moderated the general assembly debate, brought the congregation together in prayer.

"Some of us weep while some of us rejoice," he said, bowing his head. "We are a divided church."

On Thursday night, the church's civil union and marriage issues committee voted 28-24 in favor of the change.

The legalization of same-sex marriage has created a quandary for some churches in the United States. While gay parishioners have pushed for churches to sanctify their marriages, other parishioners have said marriage should be reserved for heterosexual couples.

While some Protestant clergy have elected to officiate at gay weddings, churches for the most part have been unable to reach a consensus regarding gay unions.
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