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Divestment and redefining marriage measures fail at Presbyterian convention

by Brad A. Greenberg

July 7, 2012 | 11:15 am

Two closely watched resolutions were narrowly defeated at the Presbyterian Church (USA)‘s biennial General Assembly.

First, JTA reports on the failed divestment resolution:

Proponents of using economic pressure to force Israel out of the West Bank may have lost a key battle this week – by a hair’s breadth – but they have no intention of giving up.

That’s the message from backers of a divestment motion at the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA), which late Thursday night rejected a proposal to divest from companies selling equipment to the Israeli military in the West Bank.

The 333-331 vote, with two abstentions, at the church’s Pittsburgh gathering was the closest that the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement—aimed at undermining Israel’s occupation of the West Bank—has come to a win in a major American religious denomination.

Then, Reuters explains what happened to the effort to redefine marriage:

The U.S. Presbyterian Church on Friday narrowly rejected a proposal by same-sex marriage proponents for a constitutional change that would redefine marriage as a union between “two people,” rather than between a woman and a man.

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The Church, with around 2 million members, currently allows ministers to bless gay unions but prohibits them from solemnizing homosexual civil marriages.

Opponents of the change argued the move would alienate the Church from Presbyterian churches in other countries, while backers said it should be a leader in advocating for the acceptance of same-sex marriage.

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Since launching the blog in 2007, I’ve referred to myself as “a God-fearing Christian with devilishly good Jewish looks.” The description, I’d say, is an accurate one,...

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