Consultation on Homophobia, Stony Point Conference Center Digitized Recordings

Span Dates: 1984
Bulk Dates:
Volume: 8 recordings


The original U-Matic recordings of the Consultation on Homophobia at Stony PoInt Conference Center are contained in the More Light Presbyterians Records at Rutgers University. These tapes were digitized by the Presbyterian Historical Society and available in its Digital Library. The tapes include edited and narrated segments and full, unedited recordings of leading speakers, Chris Glaser, Rev. Jane Adams Spahr, Robert Hawkins, Jr., Rev. Karen Ziegler, Dr. Byron Shafer, and Dr. George Edwards.

Hist/Bio Note

The Program Agency sponsored the Consultation on Homophobia at Stony Point Conference Center, N.Y., 1984-1985. Chronology preceding the Consultation. 1970 The United Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. (UPCUSA) released "Sexuality and the Human Community." The General Assembly maintained that homosexuality is considered a "sin." 1972 The first resolution on homosexuality was rejected by the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S. (PCUS). 1973 The UPCUSA Program Agency featured homosexuality in an issue of "Trends" and received significant backlash. 1974 David Bailey Sindt stood up on the UPCUSA General Assembly floor, holding a sign that read: "Is anyone else out there gay?" This led to the formation of the Presbyterian Gay Caucus (PGC), which was renamed Presbyterians for Gay Concerns to include straight allies, and then changed to Presbyterians for Lesbian and Gay Concerns (PLGC). 1975 The UPCUSA General Assembly denied the PLGC official organization status. Read the full article here. Bill Silver, an openly gay Presbyterian, came before the Presbytery of NYC seeking ordination. 1977 The PCUS Council on Theology and Culture brought a report titled "The Church and Homosexuality: A Preliminary Study" to the General Assembly. The report summarized Christian positions on homosexuality, including that some Christians believed it was a sickness, others believed it was sinful, and others believed that it was a legitimate variety of human sexuality. The Lazarus Project, a Presbyterian ministry working for reconciliation between the church and the LGBTQ community, began at West Hollywood Presbyterian Church with Chris Glaser as the founding director. 1976-1978 The UPCUSA established the Task Force to Study Homosexuality. The majority advocated for the UPCUSA to give churches the power to decide who to ordain, but the General Assembly voted to adopt the minority report that disallowed the ordination of homosexuals. the PCUS voted to adopt the UPCUSA's definitive guidance.1979 The PCUS voted to adopt the UPCUSA's minority report. 1978 When the UPCUSA General Assembly ruled against ordaining gay and lesbian persons, congregations respond by declaring themselves More Light Churches, dedicated to creating safe spaces for lesbian and gay Presbyterians. 1983 The United Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. and the Presbyterian Church in the U.S. reunited to form the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). 1984-1985 The Program Agency organized a Consultation on Homophobia in Stony Point, New York that received both criticism and praise throughout the church. 1985 The PC(USA) Permanent Judicial Commission declared it unconstitutional for churches to welcome lesbians and gays into full membership in the first national court case brought against a More Light Church (Westminster Presbyterian Church, Buffalo, New York).

Finding Aid

There is a brief description of each of recordings. They can be accessed at the following url or by searching the Presbyterian Historical Society Digital Collections for ARCHIVES 23-0234.


The digital library is housed at the Presbyterian Historical Society Pearl Collection. 425 Lombard St Philadelphia, PA 19147


Glaser, Chris | Spahr, Jane Adams | Ziegler, Karen | Presbyterian Church (USA) | More Light Presbyterians (formerly Presbyterians for LGBT Concerns) | Clergy Activist