Hearing rooms were full and lines formed at microphones when issues related to homosexuality came before the Churchwide Assembly. Most notably, a substitute motion that would have delayed the report of the Task Force for ELCA Studies on Sexuality until 2007, instead of 2005, was defeated on the last full day of business.
The close vote (462-526) was preceded by a parade of speakers, including several bishops. Those wanting to delay the study — and a subsequent vote on whether to bless same-sex unions and ordain gay and lesbian clergy in committed relationships — said such action might ready the church for those decisions. Those who spoke against the delay stated concern about the message it would send to gays and lesbians waiting for a decision.
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