United Church of Canada Elects First Gay Leader
In a move that I’m sure surprised absolutely no one in the Frozen North, the UCC elected a gay moderator today, the first among major North American denominations. According to the Ottawa Sun:
The United Church of Canada has elected an openly gay pastor as its new leader.
Rev. Dr. Gary Paterson of St. Andrew’s Wesley Church in Vancouver was voted in Thursday at the church’s 41st general council, taking place this week in Ottawa.
He was chosen on the sixth ballot of an election that lasted more than eight hours and included 15 nominees.
Paterson, a minister for more than 35 years, becomes the first openly gay leader of a major Christian denomination.
“What some denominations or some parts of the world see as a huge dilemma and a problem has not within our immediate community been seen in that way at all,” the moderator-elect said.
His partner, Tim Stevenson, was the first openly gay person to be ordained by the church 20 years ago.
Alternative headline: “United Church of Christ and Episcopal Church hit hardest, wanted to be first.”
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