In a vote of 559-451, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America today adopted a resolution to allow sexually active gays to join the clergy.
The resolution the 4.8 million-member church just passed revokes an earlier ban that allowed gay clery to lead churches only if they remained celibate. Star Tribune:
Delegates heeded warnings not to react as the outcome was read, but onlookers in the gallery hugged one another in celebration.
The mood shifted today as the hours of public argument wore on, with opponents coming to the microphone to try one last time to sway the 1,045 voters.
“What we are doing today is wrong,” said one.
Earlier in the day, delegates voted 670-344 to defeat an amendment proposed by former Minnesota Gov. Al Quie that would have precluded the “rostering” of homosexuals as ELCA pastors.
This morning’s session was extended half an hour so more people could speak. By then the debate was starting to loop. People on both sides of the issue who had spoken earlier in the week stood up and made basically the same speech all over again. When one delegate came to the mike and identified himself as a “first-time caller,” a grateful cheer went up.
(Pictured: Delegates earlier today, bowing their heads in prayer)