All other guests, including corresponding members and a reporter from The Layman were forced to leave, out of concern that their presence would impede the business of the presbytery on the “sensitive issue.”
Behind closed doors, John Knox Presbytery voted 81-25 to ordain Scott Anderson, a gay man who 20 years ago gave up his Presbyterian Church (USA) ordination in protest of its “fidelity-chastity” standard.
On Feb. 20, at Christ Presbyterian Church in Madison, Wis., Anderson sought ordination and validation of his ministry as executive director of the Wisconsin Council of Churches, declaring a scruple to G-6.0106(b), which requires PCUSA officers be faithful in marriage between a man and a woman or chaste in singleness.
Anderson is involved in a long-term relationship with another man, and has argued that excluding homosexuals involved in committed relationships from ordained ministry is not Biblical or faithful.
The debate and vote took place in executive session with only John Knox Presbytery commissioners allowed to remain in the sanctuary. All other guests, including corresponding members and a reporter from The Layman were forced to leave, out of concern that their presence would impede the business of the presbytery on the “sensitive issue.”
The Presbyterian Lay Committee asked the presbytery to reconsider its decision to conduct business in executive session, arguing that it was not consistent with the denomination’s “Open Meetings Policy.” A presbytery commissioner brought the motion to the floor, but it was promptly voted down after a short debate.