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Policies of Christian faith groups about gays, lesbians, & bisexuals


Evangelical Lutheran
Church in America (ELCA)


There is a very active debate within the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) concerning equality of treatment of its LGBT members (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and occasionally transgender individuals).

As with other mainline Christian faith groups, there exist two solitudes within the ELCA between traditionally minded and progressive members. The former solitude condemns all same-sex sexual behavior; the latter condemns discrimination against LGBT members. Since the national body has been able to reach a compromise on the matter of same-sex marriage, the ELCA has authorixed individual congregations to decide the matter for themsselves. There is a widely held belief that the denomination will shortly change its policy to accept marriage equality

Topics covered in this section:

bullet Introduction to the ELCA
bullet Overview of the lesbian/gay/bisexual issue
bulletList of developments from mid-1977 to 2009:
bullet1974 to 1999

bullet2000 to 2002

bullet2003 & 2004

bullet2005 & 2006

bullet 2007 & 2008
bulletThe 2009 Churchwide Assembly (CWA):
bullet Overview of CWA activities
bulletThe social statement on sexuality: 1
bulletEvents leading up to the 2009 CWA

bullet Approval of the social statement on sexuality

bulletReactions to the approval:
bullet By various groups

bullet By delegates and the media

bullet God's responses as interpreted by observers
bulletIndividual cases of church discipline of gay and lesbian clergy:

Reference used:

  1. "Human Sexuality: Gift and Trust, A social statement of the Evangelical Lutheran Church," Pages 1 to 20," 2009-AUG-19, Final version, at: This is a PDF file.


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Copyright 1998 to 2009 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Latest update: 2009-AUG-24
Author: B.A. Robinson

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