Ordination set for Philadelphia’s first gay Presbyterian minister

Philadelphia’s Broad Street Ministry will ordain the city’s first openly gay Presbyterian minister this weekend.

The Presbyterian Church changed its constitution in 2011 to allow gays and lesbians to become priests, but Broad Street’s convening minister, Bill Golderer, said there’s been almost a “don’t ask, don’t tell policy” in the years since.

“We’re not in a position to leave talented people out of the mix because of their sexual orientation,” he said.

On Sunday, he will ordain David Norse, a graduate of the Princeton Theological Seminary, in what Golderer hopes will send a clear message of welcome to gays and lesbians.

“If there’s one high school kid in Philadelphia who’s wrestling with their orientation, they will see in David a Christian leader who is experiencing the full welcome and validation of his church community,” he said.

Last month, the United Methodist Church, which does not allow openly gay ministers, defrocked Frank Schaefer from central Pennsylvania for officiating at his son’s same-sex marriage. Schaefer has said he’s been approached by other denominations.

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