Magazine article The Christian Century

ELCA to Maintain Stance on Homosexuality

Magazine article The Christian Century

ELCA to Maintain Stance on Homosexuality

Article excerpt

Delegates to the Churchwide Assembly of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America voted to maintain the denomination's stance forbidding the ordination of practicing homosexuals. The delegates, called voting members, adopted a resolution "to decline to propose at this assembly any change in the standards for rostered ministry related to noncelibate gay or lesbian persons."

By a 716-267 vote, the delegates defeated an amendment that would have suspended the enforcement of ELCA policies that ban the ordination of practicing gays and lesbians and call for ordained ministers to abstain from homosexual relationships. They also defeated, by a vote of 559-414, an amendment calling for a denominationwide consultation to propose "strategies which might allow for the ordination of noncelibate lesbian and gay persons," the ELCA News Service reported.

Joseph M. Wagner, executive director of the ELCA Division for Ministry, said church officials believe the discussions regarding homosexuality--in particular the ordination of noncelibate gays and lesbians--should continue. "The church cares about that issue," he said at a news conference following the August 21

votes. "It is concerned because it is a delicate issue and will take care that all voices be heard."

Cynthia Witt, president of the Network for Inclusive Vision, called the actions "a missed opportunity to end discrimination against gay and lesbian pastors in committed relationships. …

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