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Council proposes exceptions for gay and lesbian ministers

The ELCA Church Council adopted three resolutions related to the ELCA sexuality studies — including a proposal to allow some people in committed same-sex relationships to serve on ELCA ministry rosters. The resolutions sparked considerable debate and a flurry of substitute motions and amendments at the council's April 9-11 meeting in Chicago. Their recommendations, which will be considered at the August Churchwide Assembly, closely follow the three proposals of the Task Force for ELCA Studies on Sexuality.

At the task force's request, the council also extended its own deadline for a social statement on human sexuality from 2007 to 2009.

Early in the discussion, the council allowed visitors from Goodsoil and Solid Rock Lutherans to address the meeting. Goodsoil represents a coalition of groups seeking approval of same-sex blessings and removal of restrictions preventing ordination of partnered gays and lesbians. Solid Rock Lutherans opposes such changes in ELCA policy and practice.

After brief discussion, the council passed its first recommendation related to the task force report, calling for the church to "concentrate on finding ways to live together faithfully in the midst of disagreements, recognizing the God-given mission and communion that we share as members of the body of Christ."


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