The largest Presbyterian denomination approved a marriage resolution on Tuesday that amends their constitution to accept same-sex marriages.
A voice vote held on Tuesday in New Jersey had 86 regional bodies approving the new resolution and 41 opposed (one local presbytery had a tie vote), reports The New York Times. The church, which claims 1.8 million members and is based in Kentucky, has been moving to the left in the past few years; they cleared the way for gay and lesbian pastors, elders, and deacons four years ago.
Their latest change in policy also means Presbyterian ministers who previously performed same-sex marriages will not be prosecuted or convicted of ecclesiastical crimes by the church.
The new policy is a measured change. Conservative ministers will not be forced to perform same-sex marriages, while the new constitution will not be altered that drastically. The church previously considered marriage as between "a man and a woman," while the new language considers marriage as a union of "two people, traditionally a man and a woman."
The Episcopal Church, the United Church of Christ, and the Quakers are some of the other denominations that have opened the door to same-sex marriage. The Reform and Conservative movements of Judaism have also hopped on the bandwagon.