A proposal to be
considered by the Presbyterian Church's national
assembly in Birmingham, Ala., on Tuesday will try to mend
the church's internal controversy over homosexuality.
The proposal would maintain the church's
current ban on gay clergy but would allow some flexibility
in enforcing it, the Associated Press reports.
A committee voted 30-28 to keep a church
law mandating that lay officeholders and all
clergy restrict sexual activity to only heterosexual
marriage. But another bill would create leeway for local
congregations and regional presbyteries on whether to abide
by that rule.
A special task force spent four years
contemplating how the Presbyterian Church could remain
united. The result is this compromise plan.
But neither conservative nor liberal
Presbyterians are likely to embrace the plan. The
church's conservative caucus called the plan a deceptive
way to undermine church law, while progressives complained
that the compromise doesn't do enough to fully include
The proposal comes as the 534 delegates of the
national assembly gather to discuss and make church
legislation. The gathering ends Thursday. (The