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US Presbyterian Church gives the green light to same-sex weddings

Published on Jun 20, 2014 11:55 PM

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The nearly 1.9 million-member Presbyterian Church USA has given its pastors the green light to marry gay and lesbian couples, in another coup for marriage equality in the United States.

The decision by the influential mainline Protestant denomination's General Assembly in Detroit, which ends on Saturday, follows "much thought, discussion and prayer", it said in a statement.

Its pastors will now be able to perform "any such marriage they believe the Holy Spirit calls them to perform" in those states - currently 19 out of 50 - where same-sex marriage is legal.

The biannual General Assembly also approved a change to the church's Book of Order, or Constitution, which will now define marriage as "traditionally" between a man and a woman.

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