History of Christian Ordinations of LGBT Clergy

1963:  The Society of Friends in Great Britain published A Quaker View of Sex in which they argued that depth of love and commitment, not gender and sexual orientation, were the important aspects of sexuality.  The Society of Friends has a decentralized structure but different Quaker meetings have welcomed LGBT leaders since the 1980s.

1972:  United Church of Christ:  The UCC was the first church to ordain
openly gay clergy in 1972.  In 2003 they were also the first to call for full inclusion of transgender clergy and members. The UCC was also the first Protestant denomination to recognize same-sex marriage.

1999:  The Church of England ordained the first openly gay bishop.  However, no more were nominated or elected and in 2006 a moratorium on the nomination of LGBT bishops was passed (see below).  In 2005 an English priest transitioned from male to female and was allowed to continue in the priesthood as a woman; in 2005 the first transgender woman was ordained as a priest.  In 2010 some Anglican churches both in England and abroad left the Anglican Church over this issue and became known as the Reformed Episcopal Churches. In  2013 the Church of England upheld the moratorium, but allowed LGBT clergy to become bishops if they remain celibate.  In 2014 the Church of England refused to institute "gay blessing" ceremonies and also affirmed the moratorium on LGBT clergy, this time for all orders of the ministry.

2006:  The American Episcopal Church ordained the first openly gay bishop.  In response the Angican Church instituted a moratorium on LGBT elections to bishop, although the resolution said nothing about ordination to the priesthood itself. In 2009 the Anglican Church and laity rejected the Church of England's moratorium and elected 2 more LGBT clergy as bishops.

2008:  The United and Reformed Lutheran churches.   Began ordaining LGBT clergy. One pastor has been nominated for bishop so far but did not win election.

2009:  The Evangelical Lutheran Church of America.  In 2013 the ELCA elected its first male gay bishop. In 2014 the ELCA ordained the first openly transgender leader of a congregation.

2009: The Church of Sweden elected its first lesbian bishop.

2011:  The Church of Scotland.  The Church of Scotland chose a gay pastor in 2009 but allowed no others to go forward.  It adopted inclusion as a general policy in 2013.

2012:  The Presbyterian Church USA ordained the first openly lesbian pastor in 2012.  The Presbyterian Church of America (PCA), the second largest Presbyterian body, still considers homosexuality a sin and will not ordain LGBT clergy or accept LGBT members.

2013:  The Disciples of Christ have a decentralized church structure.  By 2011 some regions were allowing LGBT ordination.  In 2013 the General Assembly passed a "Sense of the Assembly" resolution encouraging full inclusion but will not force individual churches to do so.

2015:  The United Methodist Church drafted a proposal to ordain LGBT clergy in February. It will vote on this proposal in May.