Clergy Members Debate Religion, Homosexuality

Article excerpt

Byline: Deborah Kadin Daily Herald Staff Writer

Clergy members on both sides of the debate over homosexuality addressed the issue in the context of religious faith and American history Monday at Naperville North High School.

The Revs. Greg Dell and Marty Schoenleber participated in a friendly discussion before more than 50 students and faculty members.

The hourlong session was conducted for junior and senior U.S. history classes.

Dell, the pastor of Broadway United Methodist Church in Chicago, was suspended indefinitely by his denomination in March after he joined two gay men in a service of "holy union."

Schoenleber, the spiritual leader of the New Song Evangelical Free Church of Bolingbrook, has participated in counseling gays to become straight.

"I want to be a part of a church that reaches out in love and compassion to gay and lesbian people," Schoenleber said. "At the same time, I am bound by the word of God; their behavior is not sanctioned by God."

"The dialogue was good and it was nonconfrontational. It was great we were able to have this," said Beatriz Menendez, a junior and member of Spectrum, the school's multicultural club and a leader of the Gay-Straight Alliance. …