"Despite lengthy debate, the only consensus the executive of the general council of the United Church could reach on the current controversy over the ordination of homosexuals was that it would listen to all views on the matter. The executive debated for 36 hours before reaching a consensus on the statement 'Membership, Ministry, and Human Sexuality', and then resolved only to organize comment for study at its next meeting. The membership statement, approved by the church's General Council last August , says sexual orientation should not be a barrier to membership in the church, and that all members are eligible for ordination to the priesthood". "The executive statement was released shortly after the church's judicial committee turned down a request for a remit of the 98 presbyteries in the church. A remit is similar to a referendum, but under church law can only be called when a question deals with an amendment to the Basis of Union, the church's constitution".