Source Integrity Fort Worth: Lutheran Church Lifts Ban on Gay Clergy, Supports Same-Gender Relationships
On Friday, August 21, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in American (ELCA), the largest Lutheran denomination in the United States, passed a resolution to allow gay and lesbian persons in relationships to participate in ministries, including ordained ministries. The vote came 559 to 451.
Integrity's home offices in New York released the following statement:
Integrity rejoices at the news from Minneapolis that the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) today adopted all four of the resolutions before their Assembly regarding the fuller inclusion of the LGBT baptized in the work and witness of the Lutheran Church.
“Today’s action in Minneapolis is not just good news for gay and lesbian Lutherans, it is good news to all who strive for peace and justice and are committed to respecting the dignity of every human being,” said the Reverend Susan Russell, president of Integrity USA.
“For decades the faithful have prayed for justice to roll down like waters for the LGBT baptized in the Lutheran and Episcopal Churches. The Summer of 2009 has become that watershed moment we have prayed for.”
“We are delighted that our Lutheran brothers and sisters in Christ are joining The Episcopal Church in moving forward in mission with a commitment to include all God’s beloved equally. We look forward to opportunities to continue in our call to common mission with our Lutheran colleagues as we join together in proclaiming the Good News of God in Christ Jesus available to all.”
“We believe that when taken together with the actions of our Episcopal Church last month in Anaheim, we are seeing a spiritual groundswell sending the message that there are communities of faith that actually practice the compassion they preach. Our deepest hope is that these actions will encourage those who had given up on the church to give it another chance. Our doors are certainly open to welcome them – and we look forward to the mission and ministry ahead of us as the Body of Christ in the world.”
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Source: The Local
"Dressed in a flashy black belly-dancing outfit, Nancy is a hobby transgender dancer from Iraq, ready to take to the stage with full make-up and skinny high heels. She is preparing to entertain more than 200 other Arab gays, lesbians and transgender people in Stockholm, Sweden."
"The setting is the Stockholm headquarters of the Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights (RFSL). The occasion is the launch of Arab Initiative, the first Arab LGBT rights group in Europe."
As Arab members discuss the horrifying details of their escapes, often secreted away by smugglers to safe havens in the US and Europe, Nancy prepares to dance.
"Meanwhile, it was time for Nancy to mount the stage and wow the crowd with her belly dancing shakes to Arabic music. Swedes, Arabs, Africans and people of other ethnicities, men and women, straight and gay, gathered around the stage and clapped to the rhythm – a sight unseen in any Arab country."
Please read on at The Local