Gay Marriage – in Church: Sweden

It’s been a long time coming, but has been expected ever since same – sex marriage was approved by the Swedish parliament back in May this year – immediately before the news from Iowa.  As I predicted at the time, the Swedish Lutheran Church has now approved church weddings for gay and lesbian couples.   The interesting part of this to me is that although individual pastors are not obliged to perform same sex ceremonies, local churches do not have the same opt-out:  all churches must be available to all couples.  If the resident pastor won’t do it, a substitute must be brought in from elsewhere.

Bridegrooms on Church Steps

Once again, this advance has come after discussion that began much earlier, before the church approved “blessing of homosexual partnerships years ago.”  In so doing, the majority of the church discounted the traditional view that such partnerships were somehow “against Scripture”.  This is another very welcome step in the defanging of that fallacious argument. (See “Countering the Clobber Texts”)

Read the rest of this entry »

Gay Marriage – in Church. *

This post has moved to my new domain at http://queering-the-church.com/blog

Lutherans, Gay Clergy: Shifting Theology.

The decisions of the ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church of America) this week have rightly received a lot of attention, and are clearly significant to Lutherans, and to the rest of us: but not only for the obvious reasons.


Women meeting last week at the Churchwide Assembly of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America in Chicago wore rainbow scarves to support gay clergy members. (NY Times)

Women meeting last week at the Churchwide Assembly of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America in Chicago wore rainbow scarves to support gay clergy members. (NY Times)

First, it is hugely important to the openly gay & lesbian partnered pastors already serving the church, and to their congregations. Read the rest of this entry »

Gay Clergy: Lutherans Join the Battle

After the Episcopalian fuss last month about gay clergy and Bishops, the battle now moves to the American Lutheran church – specifically, the branch known as the “Evangelical Lutheran Church America”.  (This is apparently the more liberal of the several branches of American Lutheranism.)

“Goodsoil, a coalition of Lutheran organizations which advocates full inclusion for gays and lesbians, will articulate its position Aug. 17-23 at the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) convention in Minneapolis.

Goodsoil is asking the body to pass the “Social Statement on Human Sexuality” to give greater recognition to gay and lesbian Lutherans. It is also pushing for revised ministry policies which would allow gays and lesbians in committed long-term relationships to serve as clergy.
Currently gay clergy must take a vow of celibacy.

Emily Eastwood, executive director of Lutherans Concerned/North America, is aware these are potentially very contentious issues for the church to wrestle with. Read the rest of this entry »