SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – After decades of denying gays and lesbians an official place in Presbyterian Church leadership, Wednesday the church officially voted to allow gay ordination. This move resonates with one San Francisco lesbian pastor who has spent 30 years trying to blend faith and sexuality.

KCBS’ Holly Quan Reports:

Rev. Janie Spahr was censured last year by the Presbyterian Church for marrying 16 gay couples in 2008 when same-sex marriage was legal in the state.

Since the 1970s she’s been working to bring gays and lesbians into what she believes is an inclusive, not exclusive faith. This vote, she said, allowing for non-celibate gay ordination is one giant step forward.

“It’s been culminating, and there are other faith traditions as well: the Episcopals, the Unitarians, the United Church of Christ, the Lutherans have come forward,” said Spahr. “I think it’s just been building and building as more and more people come out, and as more families come out about their children and faith; it’s just been tumbling along.”

The church is allowing regional bodies to decide for themselves if they want to go ahead with ordinations. The debate has prompted a defection of conservative congregations who are looking to be reassigned to groups with which they are more theologically aligned.

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