The decision to allow sexually active gays and lesbian pastors to serve as clergy members has caused a split in the country's largest Lutheran denomination, and some conservatives now say they're forming their own body separate from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
According to the Associated Press, leaders of Lutheran CORE said Wednesday that members had begun drafting a constitution and taking other steps to form the denomination. They say they hope to be off the ground in August.
"There are many people within the ELCA who are very unhappy with what has happened," Reverebd Paull Spring (pictured), chairman of Lutheran CORE and a retired ELCA bishop from State College, Pa., told the AP.
ELCA delegates voted to lift the ban on sexually active gay and lesbian pastors at the denomination's annual convention in Minneapolis last August. The ELCA's new policy allows gays and lesbians in committed relationships to serve as clergy and is expected to go into effect in April.