The National Convention of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada widened the denomination's welcome for gays and lesbians and restructured the national church at its July 14-17 meeting in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. The 152,500-member church will now allow same-sex marriages and the ordination of gays and lesbians.
Following more than two hours of debate, delegates approved 213-134 a human sexuality social statement that developed out of a four-year national study of sexuality. The statement calls the ELCIC to "denounce discrimination, including sexual discrimination, in all its forms." The voting process for the social statement was contentious. Delegates defeated a motion that would have required approval by a two-thirds majority instead of the usual majority vote.
In a statement, Lutherans Concerned/North America executive director Emily Eastwood, who attended the convention, said the ELCIC social statement is "more prophetic than that of the ELCA" and "a major turning point in the Canadian church toward full inclusion."
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