Lutherans reject same-sex blessings

By on July 3, 2007

Delegates of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada’s (ELCIC) 11th biennial National Convention rejected for the second time a motion allowing the blessing of same-sex unions.

The motion encouraging synods to develop mechanisms “to best minister to people who live in committed same-sex relationships, including the possibility of blessing such unions,” was decided by secret ballot during which 200 delegates voted against it, and 181 voted in favour of it.

Roger Kingsley, vice-president of the ELCIC, who introduced the motion, noted that at the 2005 National Convention, delegates approved a motion after the defeat of a local option for same-sex blessing, which stated, “That our church’s leaders, congregations and pastors ‘seek to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace, rejecting all words and actions hostile to gays and lesbians in our churches and communities, and taking steps to create a more welcoming environment in this church for gays, lesbians and their families.”

Had it been passed, the “local option” would have required the consent of the pastor and the congregation as expressed in a two-thirds majority parish vote and in consultation with the synod bishop.

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