The Presbyterian Church Assembly is meeting to discuss whether or not it should redefine exactly what ‘marriage’ is within its Book of Order.
Currently, the statement in the Book of Order – and in many other Christian orders of marriage services – includes the phrase ‘between a man and a woman’, but they are now considering a proposal that would change the wording to ‘between two people’.
This radical change could absolutely shift the Presbyterian Church‘s stance on gay marriage, and could end up being incredibly divisive if not enough people support – or oppose – the measure. Church groups up and down the country and all around the world have been battling for many years to define marriage, and to understand what it means to be a married person in this modern age, and although opposition to change is strong, there are those that have been championing it for many years.
The process of altering the Presbyterian Church’s Book of Order is actually quite simple. Now that the Presbyterian Church Assembly has passed the motion recommending that the change should be made, the proposal will now move to a group of presbyteries, or regional bodies. They will have to pass the change by a majority in order for the wording to be altered, although it is not particularly clear whether there is a certain majority that it must pass.
Whether or not the Presbyterian Church Assembly will alter its definition of marriage is yet to be seen. The very fact that the proposal was accepted and passed by a majority at the yearly Presbyterian Church Assembly heavily suggests that there is not enough opposition at the moment to prevent such a change, but now the campaigning of those that do oppose it may begin.