A sampling of churches divided
October 14, 2007
Los Angeles Times
Many religious denominations are struggling with issues involving homosexuality and the Bible. A
Roman Catholic Church
Does not allow practicing homosexual men to become priests, although men who have "overcome"
homosexual impulses for more than three years may enter the priesthood. Rejects same-sex unions
and gay marriage.
In the face of stiff opposition from other Anglicans overseas, American Episcopal bishops agreed
last month not to authorize further blessings for same-sex unions and to use restraint in
consecrating more gay bishops.
Presbyterian Church (USA)
Requires gay clergy to be celibate, since church officers must remain chaste if single. Allows the
blessing of same-sex unions but only if they are deemed not equivalent to marriage, which the
church does not allow.
United Methodist Church
Gays and lesbians can become pastors but must remain celibate. Rejects gay marriage and says
same-sex ceremonies cannot be held in church buildings.
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
The church does not ordain practicing homosexuals but urges church leaders not to discipline gays
in committed partnerships. Does not bless same-sex unions or marriages.
United Church of Christ
Although local congregations have the final say, the denomination allows the ordination of gay
clergy and fully recognizes same-sex marriage.
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Although the Mormon church does not have a separate ordained clergy, it opposes same-sex behavior,
including gay marriage.
Allows the ordination of homosexual rabbis and same-sex commitment ceremonies.
Does not ordain gay rabbis and does not allow same-gender unions or marriages.
A rabbinical law panel last year adopted contrasting opinions on gays. One measure allows the
ordination of gay rabbis and lets rabbis perform blessings for same-sex couples. But some panel
members approved a measure maintaining prohibitions against gay rabbis and commitment rituals.
Source: Religionlink.org, Associated Press, Times research