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Lutheran pastor
removed over same-sex relationship

Lutheran pastor
removed over same-sex relationship

Elca_0

Officials with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America said Thursday they are removing a gay minister who announced he has a partner while calling for an end to the ban on sexually active gay clergy.

Officials with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America said Thursday they are removing from the clergy a gay minister who announced he has a partner. The Reverend Bradley Schmeling, who has led Atlanta's oldest Lutheran church since 2000, will be removed from the roster effective August 15, according to a report from the ELCA's disciplinary committee.

Schmeling, who was open about his sexuality when he took the job, announced last year he had found a lifelong companion. Bishop Ronald Warren asked the 44-year-old pastor to resign, but Schmeling refused. Warren then began disciplinary proceedings against Schmeling for violating church rules banning sex outside marriage.

At Thursday's hearing, the church's Discipline Committee called for the ELCA to remove the policy through both the church's highest judicial and legislative bodies, Committee on Appeals and the Churchwide Assembly. The committee then delayed removing Bradley until after the 2007 Churchwide Assembly, which meets August 6-12, 2007, in Chicago. (AP, with additional reporting by The Advocate)

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