Aug 22, 2009 12:51 AM GMT
The nation's largest Lutheran denomination will consider lifting its ban on gay and lesbian clergy who are in lifelong, monogamous relationships as it gathers this month for a churchwide meeting.
More than 1,000 delegates will debate church policy Aug. 17-23 at the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's (ELCA) biennial General Assembly in Minneapolis.
FAITH & REASON: Therapists, pastors agree: Gay identity no block to spiritual growth
As at previous assemblies, the role of gays and lesbians in the 4.6 million-member church is expected to be among the most contentious issues on the agenda.
The question is not whether openly gay and lesbian clergy can be ordained. They already are — as long as they remain celibate. The question is whether they can have committed relationships and still be called to ELCA pulpits. Partnered gay clergy are technically prohibited, though some congregations break the rule without punishment.
They did it:
Lutherans Change Policy—Affirm Partnered Gay Ministers
glaadblogLutherans, the very first Protestant tradition, founded in the 1500’s, voted to lift the ban on partnered gay clergy on Friday, August 21, 2009.