A Sacramento, Calif., congregation voted Sunday to leave the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), months after the denomination removed its ban on openly gay clergy.

Fremont Presbyterian Church members approved a measure to seek dismissal from the PC(USA), 427 to 164, according to The Sacramento Bee. The church plans to join the smaller and more conservative Evangelical Presbyterian Church.

It was in May of this year when a majority of the PC(USA)’s 173 presbyteries chose to do away with the denomination’s requirement for clergy to live “in fidelity within the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman, or chastity in singleness.”

This cleared the way for openly gay and lesbian persons to serve as clergy.

With the ban lifted, the PC(USA) ordained its first openly gay minister, Scott Anderson, in Madison, Wis., earlier this month.

Over the past few months, Presbyterians discontent with the new clergy standard – which makes no mention of sexual orientation – have been reconsidering their ties with the denomination, whose membership has declined for decades and now totals just over 2 million.


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