Presbytery meeting over pro-gay marriage minister

Presbyterian ministers from across Co Armagh met at the Church’s General Assembly in Belfast this week to discuss the pro same-sex marriage stance of Portadown minister Rev Christina Bradley.The clergy – from the ultra conservative Armagh Presbytery – were told that a representative had already spoken to Mrs Bradley over her outspoken support the Republic’s marriage referendum ‘yes’ vote, and that there will be further consideration of the matter at the next monthly meeting of the Presbytery.

The Armagh Road minister’s views are at odds with the Church’s policy that marriage is exclusively between a man and a woman.

Following last month’s referendum, she told the Portadown Times: “The referendum wasn’t a debate on the institution of marriage as the basis of human society as we know it, but about ending discrimination.

“This warm-heartedness is good to see in a world which often is a cold place as much for women in leadership as it is for gay and lesbian people in churches. I welcome the ‘yes’ vote.”

Mrs Bradley is not thought to have been at the first three days of the General Assembly, where Rt Rev Ian McNie was installed as Moderator on Monday night.

Rev Bradley – who conducted her Sunday service as usual at the weekend – has not been available for comment.

During an address to the Assembly on Tuesday, former moderator John Dunlop also reached out to the LGBT community. He said: “Lesbian, gay and bi-sexual people are equal members of the church, as they have an orientation about which they can do nothing. I am partially left-handed and there is nothing I can do about that.

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