A few weeks ago I wrote in anticipation of the Presbyterian vote regarding LGBT clergy. Tuesday the final needed vote came in, and an amendment was passed that allowed for the possibility of LGBT ordination in some areas. It does not mention LGBT people by name and it is not, as is being widely reported, a universal acceptance of LGBT clergy. In many ways this means the debate in local governing bodies will now be intensified, and more personal. Still, some progressive Christians are hailing this as "full inclusion" for LGBT in the Presbyterian Church.
And yet, there is this on the very next day. A statement yesterday from Cynthia Bolbach, the Moderator of the Presbyterian Church (USA) on the likelihood of the church finally approving same-gender marriages. As quoted originally by WFPL News, "It was decided that we simply weren't at the point where we wanted to consider whether we wanted to approve same-sex marriage. It's been asked that the church study the issue, but I think that's a different issue than the issue regarding ordination standards."
In other words, we not only won't approve it. We won't even consider it yet.
Full inclusion? It sure doesn't sound like it.
I left the PCUSA in large part over their treatment of LGBT folks. For years I struggled with leaving because of the issue of clergy inequality. But in the end it was the simply request of two women I knew in Massachusetts who wanted me to legally marry them. I couldn't under PCUSA law. And that's when I knew I had to leave. I couldn't be a representative of a denomination that would deny a blessing to a couple simply because they were gay.
Celebrate the step. Look to the future. Hope for the best. But recognize the reality that this is not full inclusion. Not yet.