Lutherans Welcome LGBT Clergy Back

It is hard to keep up with all of the recent news coming out of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America in relation to its evolving stance toward its LGBT members and clergy. The Chicago-based denomination – the nation’s largest Lutheran body – has been welcoming back into the fold clergy who were previously barred because they were involved in same-sex relationships. These recent decisions put into effect a change in policy approved last year that allowed for non-celibate lesbian and gay clergy.

One recent story drawing media attention is that of Rev. Bradley Schmeling and Rev. Darin Easler, a same-sex clergy couple in Atlanta. The pair have been reinstated after having been stripped of their credentials three years ago.

Rev. Bradley Schmeling and Rev. Darin Easler - photo from Minnesota Public Radio

One of the best sources of news pertaining to the ELCA is Illinois blogger, Susan Hogan, who writes Pretty Good Lutherans. She has been detailing stories similar to Schmeling’s and Easler’s from all across the United States.

The Illinois Religious Coalition for the Freedom to Marry has as its central mission the legal recognition of marraige by the states, beginning with Illinois. Because of our commitment to the separation of church and state, we believe strongly that no law should compel any church to marry same-sex couples.

We nonetheless celebrate joyously when any church or denomination chooses to move toward greater openness toward its LGBT members and clergy and toward recognition of same-sex couples.

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