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Presbyterians say no to gay leadership

Fri 24 Sep 2004 In: New Zealand Daily News

The Presbyterian Church has spoken – it will no longer accept gays or unmarried straights in leadership positions if they're in relationships. Married heterosexuals only will be given a pass. The decision, which is not retrospective and won't affect current church leaders, was made yesterday at the Presbyterian General Assembly in Christchurch, attended by around 400 delegates from around New Zealand. The decision has saddened those among the 37% who voted against the proposal. "It was a very sombre moment. It felt to me like we had made a mistake," says Rev Fraser Paterson, a Wellington minister and father of Queer Nation reporter Robyn Paterson. Rev David Clark from Remuera said that prohibiting gays and lesbians from taking leadership roles in the Church was not going to make the problem go away. "You can pass all the rules you bloody well like, but we will always be among you." Stuart Lange, a spokesman for the conservative Presbyterian Affirm movement, said the practice of homosexual guidance was inappropriate. He said the Church would have lost very high numbers if it did not take a stand on homosexuals' role in the Church.    

Credit: News Staff

First published: Friday, 24th September 2004 - 12:00pm

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