You’d be forgiven for losing track of which sect of which religion was advocating for or against gay men and women. (Unless it’s the Mormon Church, and then it’s, like, common sense.) So let’s bring you up to speed on what’s going on with the Lutherans: A movement is underway to let gay men and women in committed relationships become clergy, stepping away from current policy to let only celibate gays serve. What’s more, a task force within the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America “also asked members of the church to respect congregations and synods that disagree because they believe such actions would violate Scripture.” Woah, now.
If approved, the measures would change current church policy that allows ordination of gay clergy, but requires them to be celibate. In the report, the task force proposed a four-step process that outlines a possible path for change, starting with recognition of same-sex relationships.
“The task force agreed that this church cannot responsibly consider any changes to its policies unless this church is able and willing in some way to recognize lifelong, monogamous, same-gender relationships,” the report said.
The recommendation will be voted on at the Churchwide Assembly in Minneapolis in August. Reaction to the recommendation was expected to range from elation to disapproval.
The task force stopped short of recommending a liturgical rite for gay unions or using the word marriage to describe them. But, the report said “most of the task force members believe that ways can be found within local congregations to surround the commitments of such couples with prayer.” [Chi Tri]