What do we mean by “welcome”…
We believe that God welcomes all and that we, too, are called to welcome. We try to back that up with policies and practices that support welcoming and affirming our whole selves, including our diversity of race, gender identity, sexuality, and physical and mental ability.
Sexuality and Same-Gender Relationships
Lakeside’s Marriage Policy
Regarding same-gender relationships, in 2015 Lakeside Presbyterian Church adopted new language for its policy.
“The Session of Lakeside Presbyterian Church authorizes its minister(s) to use their discretion in deciding whether to conduct any marriage on church property, regardless of gender, as permitted by law, provided that they have exercised their pastoral responsibility to counsel with the couple and to assess the capabilities, intentions, and readiness of the couple to be married and to live according to the values of the marriage covenant.”
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Policies and Statements
Over the years, the PC(USA) has adopted various statements and policies regarding sexuality and same-gender relationships. At the 223rd General Assembly in St. Louis in June 2018, the Presbyterian Church voted unanimously to pass three Overtures:
- Overture 11-04, On Clarifying the Position of the PC(USA) Regarding Appropriate Boundaries of Religious Liberty: Acknowledges the misuse of the term “religious freedom” in denying basic human rights, and reaffirms that faith and religious liberty cannot be used to discriminate against anyone simply because of who they are.
- Overture 11-12, On Affirming and Celebrating the Full Dignity and Humanity of People of All Gender Identities: Acknowledges the church’s past mistake in being unwelcoming to transgender and non-binary individuals, encourages the welcoming and acceptance of all gender identities, and affirms their right to live free from discrimination in any arena; this overture also specifically mentioned the rights of transgender students.
- Overture 11-13, On Celebrating the Gifts of People of Diverse Sexual Orientations and Gender Identities in the Life of the Church: Apologizes for the church’s previous unwelcoming stance on LGBTQ parishioners, celebrates LGBTQ church pioneers, and states the church will welcome, lift up, and fight for the human rights of all people created in the eyes of God.