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 PCUSA Urged to End Ban on Homosexuals

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RICHMOND, Va. - Martha Juillerat served as pastor of her small Presbyterian church in rural Minnesota for 15 years until she came out as a lesbian and was forced to step down.

She urged fellow Presbyterians who gathered Monday at the church's national legislative assembly to lift the ban on ordaining gays and lesbians as ministers, elders and deacons in the church.

"Sometimes it is more than I can bear that this church has decided to discriminate against an entire class of people," Juillerat urged a committee considering a proposal to eliminate the ban. "I know that this church can do better."

The committee was scheduled to make a recommendation on the matter Tuesday. The full assembly was expected to vote on that later this week.

Liberals in the 2.4 million-member church have pushed for years to allow ordination of gays and lesbians. The issue promises to be the most divisive of the weeklong Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) legislative assembly.


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