82 Lutheran gay and lesbian clergy come out

Dozens of gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered Lutheran clergy and seminarians on Tuesday openly proclaimed their sexuality to church members meeting at Navy Pier for a national assembly according to Chicago Sun Times reporter Susan Hogan/Albach.

A devotional booklet titled, “A Place Within My Walls, is being handed out to the more than 1,000 voting members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, a 4.8 million-member denomination headquartered in Chicago.

Presently, the ELCA requires that gay clergy be celibate. But nearly one-third of the ELCA’s 65 synods – regional districts – have requested that the celibacy requirement be dropped, a measure that will be debated this week.

Goodsoil, a coalition of groups hoping to lift the celibacy rule, is distributing the booklets. The booklet includes devotional stories from the Acts of the Apostles that “speak to the experiences and decisions of the early church when confronted by diversity and conflict.”

It also features stories and photos of 11 gay and lesbian clergy and two-would-be pastors. And a list of pastors, seminarians and others serving in ministry, awaiting call or removed from the clergy roster for their sexual orientation over the past two years who were willing to go public.

Read it all here

UPDATE: According to a press release by Good Soil: a coalition of Lutheran groups working for full inclusion of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Lutherans in the life of the church, eighty-two lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Lutheran ministers have chosen to introduce themselves to their denomination and speak out against the policy of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) that prohibits them from entering into lifelong, loving family relationships.

Read about Good Soil here

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