Presbyterian Church in Ireland votes to ban same-sex couples

The Presbyterian Church in Ireland has voted to exclude gay couples from membership and banned baptism for children of same-sex couples.

The Church, which is the largest Presbyterian denomination in Ireland, today opted to adopt the harsh new policy clamping down on LGBT Christians.

The Presbyterian church’s General Assembly voted to adopt the harsh new policy today (June 8).

Church documents state: “The Presbyterian Church in Ireland has a clear position on marriage and human relationships based on the teaching of the Bible.

“The position that has been clearly and consistently adopted in PCI is that homosexual activity is not consistent with Christian discipleship since it does not accord with the will of God expressed in his moral law.

“The [Bible] unambiguously regards homosexual activity as contrary to nature, understood as God’s created order, and that it sets forth a permanent principle of creation, not a culturally limited perception.”

Church House in Belfast, Northern Ireland is the headquarters of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland. (Creative Commons photo/Flickr user William Murphy)

It adds: “In light of our understanding of Scripture and the Church’s understanding of a credible profession of faith it is clear that same sex couples are not eligible for communicant membership nor are they
qualified to receive baptism for their children.

“We believe that their outward conduct and lifestyle is at variance with a life of obedience to Christ.”

The Church claimed that those “who have adopted a lifestyle that is not in accord with Christian values” should be “encouraged… to walk in the ways of the Lord” through “careful instruction and personal counsel,” – a provision that has been likened to tacit support for gay ‘cure’ therapy.

The motion sparked anger in the Church, with many speaking out against the change.


The Assembly also voted to break off ties with the Church of Scotland, which has relaxed its policies on same-sex marriage.

The Church hit out at “the radical suggestion that marriage is other than an exclusive male-female union” and that “no previous generation concluded that marriage was anything other than an opposite sex union.”


The Irish church added that it “does not accept that the fundamental definition of marriage can be conceived of as a reflection of constantly evolving social conventions. Rather, it believes that the marriage union of husband and wife is an essential revelation of God’s purposes in creation and redemption.”