Roman Catholics, the Eastern Orthodox, and the formularies of every mainline Protestant denomination except for the United Church of Christ remain opposed to blessings same-sex unions or allowing noncelibate gay clergy.

Indeed, Catholic leaders feel such concern about recent pressures in favor of homosexual marriages that this week they have released a 12-page document titled "Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions Between Homosexual Persons."

"There are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God's plan for marriage and family," the document said. "Marriage is holy, while homosexual acts go against the natural moral law."

Protestant churches say it differently, but also discourage homosexual clergy from acting on their desires. Some examples:

The Evangelical Lutheran Church of America: "Ordained ministers who are homosexual in their self-understanding are expected to abstain from homosexual sexual relationships."

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.): "Those who are called to office in the church are to lead a life in obedience to Scripture and in conformity to the historic confessional standards of the church. Among these standards is the requirement to live either in fidelity within the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman, or chastity in singleness."

The United Methodist Church: "Ceremonies that celebrate homosexual unions shall not be conducted by our ministers and shall not be conducted in our churches."

The Rev. Ephraim Radner, a deputy to General Convention from the Diocese of Colorado, is concerned that convention will harm ecumenism if it votes to forge ahead—essentially alone—in blessing same-sex unions.

"The credibility ...

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