The new rules, which also apply to elders and deacons, do not require churches to ordain gay candidates, but they remove barriers to their ordination that were written into the church's constitution. The old text of the church’s Book of Order banned non-celibate clergy who did not live 'within the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman.' That prohibition was added in 1997.
The new Book of Order does not mention gay clergy, but it removes a requirement of chastity for non-married clergy. It places more emphasis on character traits such as a “candidate’s calling, gifts, preparation, and suitability” and presbyteries' powers in picking ministers.
Friday, July 8, 2011
Presbyterian Church Will Start Ordaining Gay Clergy: