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Gay And Lesbian Sex OK'd For Lutheran Clergy

ELCA votes to allow gay pastors

In a historic change, noncelibate gays and lesbians can now lead parishes of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).

On a 559-451 vote taken Friday in Minneapolis at their biennial conference, delegates repealed the ELCA ban on gay clergy unless they agree to remain celibate. It makes ELCA, with 4.8 million members nationwide and 830,000 in Minnesota, the largest denomination in the country to welcome gays into the pulpits without restriction.

The vote did not surprise Ryan Schwarz from Washington, a member of Lutheran CORE, a group that opposed the motion. Nor did it dampen his interest in running for vice president, the highest lay position within the ELCA. That vote will be taken today.

(The rest of the article is available on the Star Tribute web site.)

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