The ruling by the nation's largest Presbyterian denomination Thursday to allow its pastors to officiate same-sex weddings was a major victory for a Kansas City-based organization that has spent years trying to make the church more inclusive.
By a vote of 429 to 175, leaders of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) voted to initiate a process to redefine marriage in official texts as being between two people. They also voted with a smaller margin to allow Presbyterian pastors to decide as individuals whether or not to perform same-sex marriages.
Probably the most volatile fault line in America’s shifting opinion on gay rights is in churches. Both those who support gay rights and those who don’t claim that their beliefs are supported by their church’s teachings.