(CBS / AP) — The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has approved a new definition of marriage that includes gay marriage.
The denomination is now the largest Protestant group to recognize same-sex marriage as Christian and allow same-sex weddings churchwide.
The new definition was endorsed last year by the denomination’s top legislative body as an amendment to the church constitution. The change required approval from the majority of regional bodies or presbyteries. The Covenant Network of Presbyterians says the critical vote came Tuesday from the Palisades Presbytery in New Jersey.
The denomination has about 1.8 million members and 10,000 congregations nationwide.
According to the American Values Atlas from the nonprofit Public Religion Research institute, 3 percent of Bay Area residents said they are Presbyterian.
The church earlier eliminated barriers for ordaining gays, and last year, allowed ministers to preside at gay weddings with congregational approval in states where the unions are legal.
The new definition takes effect June 21.
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