Original Research

The polity debate regarding same-gender blessings and marriages in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

Roch F. Vermaak
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 31, No 1 | a52 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v31i1.52 | © 2010 Roch F. Vermaak | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 09 July 2009 | Published: 23 September 2010

About the author(s)

Roch F. Vermaak,, United States


This paper will examine how the decision made by the Presbyterian Church in 1927 – to use polity rather than theology to solve its theological issues – has guided the same-gender blessing and marriage debate since the 1980s. The paper summarises the formation process of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s polity regarding same-gender blessing and marriage ceremonies in light of General Assemblies’ decisions and General Assembly Permanent Judicial Commissions’ ecclesiastical rulings.


Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.); General Assembly; General Assembly Permanent Judicial Commission; same-gender blessing and marriage; W-4.9001, the Book of Order; Special Commission of 1925


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