A lesbian in San Francisco who has been a candidate for the Presbyterian ministry for 22 years is to have her case heard in church court this week.
ABC reports that Lisa Larges’ candidacy for ordination has twice been approved by her regional church authorities.
On both occasions it was subsequently blocked because of her sexuality.
“For me this is personal, it’s my identity, but it’s also my theology, that we are all equal before God,” said Larges.
She added: “I just want to use this as an opportunity to say, hey we are here, we want to help the church. And to give the church another opportunity to invite us in.”
The Presbyterian Church has a constitution with explicit standards for ordination and requires either fidelity in a marriage between a man and a woman or chastity.
Pacific School of Religion congregations coordinator Reverend Roland Stringfellow has said the debate boils down to the issue of social justice.
“Do LGBT individuals have the right to express what they feel God has ordained to speak?” he asked. “It can be compared to the ordination of people of colour to the ordination of women.”