Thirty-three years ago I met a young, handsome graduate from Yale Divinity School named Chris Glaser(photograph). From 1976 to 1977 he served on the first Presbyterian Task Force to Study Homosexuality. At the end of this process, Glaser was denied the right to serve his church because he was gay. Chris never stopped fighting in the community of faith to enlighten their Neanderthal positions around LGBT issues. Currently he is serving as a minister in the Metropolitan Community Church (MCC).
Chris faced anger, hatred and bitterness from people of God in his attempts to break down the walls of oppression. Now, 33 years later, Chris has finally won.
This week the Presbyterian Church (USA) voted to ordain members of the LGBT community as ministers, elders and deacons with no restrictions. This is the fourth largest denomination of the Christian community to embrace freedom for LGBT Americans. The church has 2.3 million members. While less than 1% of their congregations have left the church over this policy, there was a decisive change with many who historically have opposed this move joining in the 'yes' vote.
While many in the extreme right have used churches as tools of judgment and oppression, thankfully they are increasingly becoming a minority in the faith-based community. The Presbyterian Church joins other mainstream Protestant institutions including the United Church of Christ, Evangelical Lutheran Church and The Episcopal Church. There is a quiet revolution taking place while others are making a lot of noise. This is a big deal.
Thank you, Chris Glaser, for being such an extraordinary pioneer and leading us to this moment.