The Presbyterian Church in the US has voted to allow openly gay people in same-sex relationships to be ordained as ministers, elders and deacons.
The move comes just two years after the Church, boasting a 2.4 million member denomination, voted to reject the ordination of openly gay candidates for the third time.
The campaign to allow gays and lesbians to serve in the Church has been waged for 33 years.
The change to the Church’s constitution does not force presbytery, the regional governing bodies of the Church, to accept gay clergy but allows them to choose to do so.
Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the largest LGBT rights group in the US, welcomed the news. “History was made today,” said Dr. Sharon Groves, director of HRC’s Religion and Faith Program.
“Because of today’s decision, a young person is freer to claim his or her sexual orientation, gender identity and religion. This decision will have profound ramifications for people of all faiths everywhere,” she said.