The left-wing Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is placing a “nonbinary/genderqueer category” into its denominational statistics.
“Each year, the Office of the General Assembly gathers statistical information from presbyteries across the country and provides a comprehensive breakdown on church membership, ethnicity and age distribution, as well as other information. But for next year’s update, expect to see some changes in what is reported,” a post on pcusa.org notes.
Manager of denominational roles and statistics Kris Valerius said, “we’ve always asked how many female members there are in the church. We’re now asking how many men, women and nonbinary/genderqueer members there are. We’ve never asked that question so we don’t know how many people will fill it out.”
“If we want to be inclusive, then we have to start asking because you should be aware of who’s a part of your church,” Valerius said, according to the post.
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) allows for the performance of gay weddings and for the ordination of people who identify as LGBT.
“Ordaining bodies (sessions and presbyteries) are permitted but not required to ordain lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender persons. Candidates for ordination and/or installation must be considered as individuals on a case-by-case basis; it is not permissible to establish a policy that excludes a category of persons in the abstract,” presbyterianmission.org explains.
While the denomination points to John Calvin as a key figure in informing many of its beliefs, it is highly unlikely that Calvin would have approved of the denomination’s pro-LGBT positions.
“Our heritage, and much of what we believe, began with the French lawyer John Calvin (1509-1564), whose writings crystallized much of the Reformed thinking that came before him,” presbyterianmission.org states.