Press

National Religious Leadership Roundtable disappointed in Lutheran vote

Date: 
August 12, 2005

MEDIA CONTACT:
Roberta Sklar, Director of Communications
media@theTaskForce.org
646.358.1465

WASHINGTON, Aug. 12 — The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) today failed to pass a resolution that would have codified a national policy allowing local bishops and synods to ordain individuals in committed same-sex relationships. The following is a statement from the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force's National Religious Leadership Roundtable:

The National Religious Leadership Roundtable offers its support and prayers for partner Lutherans Concerned North America and all in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) working for the full equality and inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. We share the disappointment of our Lutheran friends that the ELCA has missed an opportunity to take a prophetic stance on LGBT ordination. We consider it a sign of hope, however, that the denomination has decided to allow local synods and congregations to continue offering pastoral care, including church blessings, to same-sex couples. We rejoice that 23 of the ELCA's 65 synods have declared themselves Reconciling, calling for the full inclusion of LGBT people, and we are pray that with the leadership of these synods, the denomination will move in the direction of justice. We pray that all religious bodies will come to acknowledge the vast resources LGBT people continually bring to their communities of faith. For LGBT Lutherans, there is no further justification needed than the graceful faith they have offered in the service of their church.

The Roundtable expresses its appreciation to members Emily Eastwood and Phil Soucy of Lutherans Concerned North America, Bob Gibeling of the Atlanta Interfaith AIDS Network, and Jacob Reitan of Soulforce for their strong leadership in this week's ELCA Churchwide Assembly.

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The mission of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is to build the political power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community from the ground up. We do this by training activists, organizing broad-based campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation, and by building the organizational capacity of our movement. Our Policy Institute, the movement’s premier think tank, provides research and policy analysis to support the struggle for complete equality and to counter right-wing lies. As part of a broader social justice movement, we work to create a nation that respects the diversity of human expression and identity and creates opportunity for all. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., we also have offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis and Cambridge.