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West Hollywood Church Breaks With Presbyterians Over 'Core-Level Homophobia'

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A church in West Hollywood has broken with the Presbyterians because of their deep-seated homophobia, according to an article in today's LA Times. What was once the West Hollywood Presbyterian Church has joined the United Church of Christ.

The church was the first to hire a gay pastor, and has since been blazing a trail through the denomination to accept gays and lesbians into the fold. And while some progress has been made -- other churches can now ordain gays and lesbians -- Rev. Daniel Smith said that much hasn't changed, calling the church's attitude towards gays "core-level homophobia."

And according to the Times, he's not the only one who feels that way:

"Just because there is a rule on the books that says we're not restricting [ordination], the denomination is still pretty hostile to gay and lesbian folks," said the Rev. Maria La Sala, who teaches Presbyterian governance at Yale Divinity School.
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The break was officially announced at the beginning of May. At the time, Smith told Reuters that he was thrilled about the impending change.

"I can't wait," he said. "It's like being released from an abusive relationship...We're ready to be set free."