In a huge step in the progressive direction, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) approved a statement on human sexuality at its churchwide assembly. It's not far enough...but it opens the door for full inclusion of gay and lesbian clergy, in particular.
Our pastor was there to vote on the statement, as well as our Oregon Bishop Brauer-Rieke. The Oregon Synod voted a few years back to be "Reconciling in Christ" (Lutheran churches and synods that welcome gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered people). But all you need to do is listen to Garrison Keillor to realize that many, many Lutheran congregations and individuals are conservative and traditional, particularly about this issue. This does not even include the less-progressive Lutheran denominations (Missouri Synod and Wisconsin Synod, to name a few, which don't even allow female clergy).
Tomorrow the assembly will vote to repeal a ban on noncelibate gay pastors. Since I know a few pastors who have been rejected because of their sexual orientation, this issue is near and dear to my heart. Here is one of these gifted individuals, talking about her experience as a lesbian pastor:
This, to me, is what being a Christian is all about: the open, loving arms of our Creator...the law of love Jesus taught in the New Testament, overpowering and reforming the laws and rigidity in the Old Testament.
I am so delighted we as a church body are taking a step in the right direction.