Friday, March 14, 2008

LA Times: "Lutheran draft report sidesteps judgment...

The Los Angeles Times:

Lutheran draft report sidesteps judgment on gay marriage

Finding little consensus in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, a panel recommends that wedlock still be defined as between a man and a woman, but it doesn't condemn same-sex unions.

A task force drafting a long-awaited statement on sexuality for the nation's largest Lutheran denomination has recommended that the church continue to define marriage as a union between a woman and a man.

The panel, in a preliminary report released Thursday, said that the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, despite years of study, had yet to reach consensus on same-sex unions. The draft, which did not condemn such unions, also expressed regret that historical Lutheran teachings on homosexuality had sometimes been used to hurt gays and lesbians.

The 50-page report also noted that the church "does not favor" unmarried couples living together but acknowledged social forces behind such arrangements.

The denomination, with 4.8 million members, is among several mainline Protestant churches struggling to reconcile various views of homosexuality and the Bible. Next year, the task force is expected to decide whether to recommend changes to current church policy barring noncelibate gays and lesbians from the clergy.

The "Draft Social Statement on Human Sexuality" is intended to guide church members in setting policy and forming judgments about social issues, officials said. After revisions, it will be presented for a vote at the church's next biennial assembly, in 2009.

A wide-ranging survey of human sexuality, the statement celebrates "this complicated dimension of ourselves," with all its joys and challenges. "Sexuality can be wondrous and wounding, delightful and destructive, satisfying and confusing . . . sometimes at the same time," it says.
The rest of the story includes quotes from LC/NA's Emily Eastwood, WordAlone's Mark Chavez, and local ELCA Bishop Dean Nelson.

More coming...

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