The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) has followed the example of their US counterparts two years ago, and voted to approve openly gay or lesbian clergy. On gay marriage, they have moved ahead of the USA, and voted to approve church blessings or same-sex marriages, in accordance with their consciences and the laws of their provinces.
The decision followed a four-year process of consultation and study, which yielded a draft Social Statement on Human Sexuality, which was then ratified by the convention. The document is worth reading in full, and I hope to return to it later. For now, I simply point out three important features: a strong emphasis on God’s unqualified love, which should be a model for us all; a careful analysis of the reality of sexuality and family as they are currently experienced in the world; and a recognition that even through the course of Biblical history, as also thereafter, marriage conventions have constantly changed. There is therefore no reason at all to resist further adaptations to marriage in response to changing social conditions.
This stands in sharp, and welcome, contrast to the Catholic bishops’ intransigence, wilful disregard of real-world conditions, and an insistence (in denial of the historical evidence) that marriage can not and must not be “redefined”.
Canadian Lutherans open doors to gay marriage and pastors
The national convention of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada widened the church’s welcome for gays and lesbians and restructured the national church at its July 14-17 gathering in Saskatoon, Sask. The 152,500-member church will now allow same-sex marriages and the ordination of gay and lesbian pastors.
Following more than two hours of debate, delegates approved 213-134 a human sexuality social statement that developed out of a four-year national study of sexuality. The statement calls the ELCIC to “denounce discrimination, including sexual discrimination, in all its forms.” The voting process for the social statement was contentious. Delegates defeated a motion that would have required approval by a two-thirds majority, instead of the usual simple majority vote.
-Full report at The Lutheran
- Methodist Church Billboard: “Being Gay is a Gift from God” (queeringthechurch.com)
- NY Presbyterian Minister Will Conduct SS Weddings (queeringthechurch.com)
- LGBT Inclusion: Methodist Pressure Mounts. (queeringthechurch.com)
- Gay Clergy: Presbyterian Ratification a Tipping Point for LGBT Inclusion in Church (queeringthechurch.com)
- NY Bishops’ Sane, Pastoral Response to Gay Marriage: Get Hitched, and Bless These Unions. (queeringthechurch.com)