"Same-sex couples are "not eligible" to be full members of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland or have their children baptised, the church’s General Assembly has concluded.
The new policies were announced yesterday following the presentation of a report by the church's doctrine committee which stated; "in the light of our understanding of scripture and the Church’s understanding of a credible profession of faith it is clear that same sex couples are not eligible for communicant membership nor are they qualified to receive baptism for their children.
"We believe that their outward conduct and lifestyle is at variance with a life of obedience to Christ."
The Church’s position on marriage and human relationships was further outlined in the report which continued; "homosexual activity is not consistent with Christian discipleship since it does not accord with the will of God expressed in his moral law".
Despite the policy, representative of the church Mark Smith has stated that the church is "not denying anyone communion, or attending worship or access to pastoral care, but rather defining what it means to be of a credible profession of faith".