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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Assembly takes dramatic step

In addition to sexuality statement, assembly approves full communion with Methodists and initiatives on HIV/AIDS and malaria.

They came from all corners of the ELCA to the Minneapolis Convention Center Aug. 17-23, some 1,045 voting members all tolled. And they made dramatic decisions.

captionIn two key votes following hours of debate and impassioned speeches on the heels of eight years of study, hearings and a first draft, the ELCA’s highest governing authority approved a social statement on sexuality that among many other things acknowledges same-gender relationships. Then voting members adopted a resolution opening the door to ministerial positions for gays and lesbians in committed relationships, while not forcing congregations to accept such candidates.

It didn’t come easily. The social statement, “Human Sexuality: Gift and Trust,” required a two-thirds vote. It passed by exactly the number of votes required, 676 (66.67 percent) to 338 (33.33 percent). The rostering measure, requiring a simple majority, passed 559-451.


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