With openly gay American Lutherans taking up roles in ELCA’s clergy, Germany’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bavaria is taking things a step further, allowing openly gay ministers to live with their partners in the parishes. But only if the pastors and their partners are legal.
Bishop Johannes Friedrich says the move — which is really just a housing measure — isn’t that big a deal, given the ELCB already allows gay clergy and permits same-sex unions. But now the ministers will actually be able to live under God’s roof, so long as they have a civil union and receive a church blessing. For now, that means just six ministers are eligible. And yes, there’s the requisite conservative opposition that’s going to take its complaints to the church’s national synod.