The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America voted without dissent recently to abolish all antigay policies, effective immediately.
The Rev. Dr. Cindi Love (pictured) reports on the welcome change at the Huffington Post.
“After twenty-five years of deliberation, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) Church Council has abolished its anti-gay policies, effective immediately,” writes Love. “Following from discussions at the ELCA Churchwide Assembly last summer, the ELCA will now allow people in same-sex relationships to serve as rostered leaders. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) human beings are no longer considered abominations but blessed church members with full standing. Same-sex partners and families can now fully participate in the ELCA Pension Plan.
“Best of all, the ELCA is reinstating people who were removed from ministry positions because they were truthful and came out of the closet, as well as those who conducted holy unions for non-heterosexual couples. The ELCA has practiced restorative justice.”
Love, the new executive director of Soulforce, calls the changes the “crack in the dam of religious bigotry” that have the power to influence other churches, but only if supportive people will help “praise, publicize and participate” as a result of the decision.