Presbyterian panels back gay marriage

6/19/2014
BLOCK NEWS ALLIANCE

DETROIT — Committees within the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) have recommended that the denomination allow same-sex marriages and pull investments in businesses supplying Israel’s occupying forces in the West Bank.

The votes — along with minority reports recommending opposite actions — came this week at the legislative General Assembly of the denomination, now meeting in Detroit. Final deliberations by the full assembly are scheduled for today and Friday.

One committee voted, 51-18, to allow pastors the discretion of performing same-sex marriages in states where they are legal. It also voted, 49-18, to recommend changing the church constitution — pending regional approval — to define marriage as a covenant between two people regardless of gender.

A separate committee voted, 45-20, to recommend divesting from Caterpillar, Motorola Solutions, and Hewlett Packard for selling products aiding Israel’s occupation.

The recommendation also affirmed Israel’s right to exist within secure, internationally recognized borders and explicitly distanced the action from a broader campaign to target Israel with boycotts, divestment, and sanctions.

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