ELIZABETHTOWN, N.C. — The eastern North Carolina governing body of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) gave a thumbs down to a proposal from the national church body to allow gay and lesbian clergy.

The Presbytery of Coastal Carolina voted against the proposal by a nearly 2-to-1 margin. The church’s current Book of Order states that its clergy must be in a “faithful marriage between a man and a woman or be chaste.” References to sexual orientation would have been removed if it has passed.

All 173 presbyteries across the U.S. will have to come to a consensus by May. The approval of a total of 87 presbyteries are needed for the proposal to take effect.

Lainey Millen

Lainey Millen is QNotes' former associate editor, special assignments writer, N.C. and U.S./World News Notes columnist and production director.