There's some good news, and some bad news from the Presbyterian Church U.S.A.'s General Assembly meeting in Minneapolis.
On the one hand, the group gathered for the 219th General Assembly voted to allow non-celibate LGBT people to be called as pastors in their church (YAY!). The vote of 53-percent in favor vs. 46-percent against indicates that there is support, and still some work to do at assuring everyone that a gay person in the pulpit is NOT going against the Gospel. That will happen with time and God's grace, I'm sure.
On the other hand, a move to approve the blessing of same-sex marriages and civil unions failed to garner the votes necessary to make the PCUSA one of the most progressive mainline Christian denominations in the country. Eleven members of the pro-LGBT group Soulforce were arrested when they held a silent "pray-in" protest of the vote. The group reportedly marched to the front of the assembly hall, holding up signs that read: "Prayer: Ordination, Marriage, Pension". To read more about what is happening in Minneapolis, check out the More Light Presbyterians blog HERE.
To me, this seems like a situation where one can either see the glass as half-empty or half-full. It would have been AMAZING if the the Presbyterians had adopted a standard of marriage being between "two people" as opposed to "a man and a woman". But just because it didn't happen this time doesn't mean that all is lost. Especially given the vote on ordination orders. That is huge, and gives me as an Episcopalian hope and joy as I continue to bear witness to God's inclusive love. When our fellow brothers and sisters on the Christian path begin chipping away at long-held prejudices that we in our Episcopal Church are also struggling with, there is a true sense that we are not alone... not in the temporal or the eternal. And I think that when congregations begin to see LGBT people in leadership roles, and realize (again) that this is the Gospel fulfilled not flaunted, then it will ease the pain that comes with recognizing, "Oh, yeah: why did I think gay people couldn't form loving partnerships in marriage?"
When the scales fall from the eyes, that's when people will truly see. I keep trusting that God's ways will win out in the end... even when people try to interfere.