The Presbyterian Church (USA) made a watershed decision last March to formally recognize gay marriage, allowing same-sex couples to wed in its own congregations.
Last Sunday, the clergy officially amended its Constitution accordingly, redefining marriage as “a commitment between two people, traditionally a man and a woman,” the New York Times reports.
Approved by an overwhelming majority of the church’s 171 regional bodies, the amendment fell right on the heels of the US Supreme Court’s landmark civil rights ruling last week, which legalized same-sex marriage across all fifty states.
The Presbyterian Church, with its some 1.8 million members and nearly 10,000 congregations, rose to the forefront of LGBT inclusivity in recent years after its 2011 decision to ordain openly gay clergy in same-sex relationships.
The First Presbyterian Church in the City of New York, in response to the Supreme Court’s decision to legalize same-sex marriage, hailed the ruling, “a legal victory that reflects the grace of God, as well as the equality of all citizens,” in a letter to parishioners.
“As we give thanks for this decision, let us give thanks for all those who have worked so hard to see this day of justice. This was the culmination of years of struggle by those who pushed for a more inclusive church and nation, including many members of our own faith community.”
The 1,200-strong Greenwich Village congregation went on to encourage its members to lay out blankets on their lawn to enjoy the Pride festivities after mass had concluded, adding, “we hope to see you Sunday as we serve, cheer on the parade, and continue to show God’s love for all people from this corner of 12th Street and 5th Avenue.”