Lutherans vote to allow committed gays and lesbians into its clergy

ELCA-Opening-AssemblyLeaders of the largest Lutheran church approved a resolution today, allowing gays and lesbians, in committed and sexually active relationships, to serve as clergy within the church.

By a vote of 559 to 451, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA) voted in favor of the resolution on Ministry Policies, and making this statement:

Resolved, that the ELCA commit itself to finding ways to allow congregations that choose to do so to recognize, support, and hold publicly accountable life-long, monogamous, same gender relationships.

Earlier this week, on Wednesday, the church passed a “social statement” on human sexuality that said there was no emerging consensus on the issue, and that says there’s room in the church for differing views on an issue that’s divided other religious groups.

With 4.7 million members and about 10,000 congregations in the United States, the ELCA is one of the largest U.S. Christian denominations yet to take a more gay-friendly position on clergy. The ELCA has been meeting this week in Minneapolis for its 2009 Church-wide Assembly

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