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July 20, 2007
V 35 Issue 29

 
 
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Evangelical Lutheran Church of America defrocks Gay pastor
Evangelical Lutheran Church of America defrocks Gay pastor
Pastor Bradley Schmeling Removed from Churchs Roster

WASHINGTON  In a July 2nd decision that was made public today, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA) Committee on Appeals has decided to remove Atlanta Pastor Bradley Schmeling from the churchs pastoral roles because Pastor Schmeling is a gay man living his life openly and honestly.

Speaking for the Human Rights Campaign, Harry Knox, Director of the Religion and Faith Program offered the following reaction to this regrettable decision:

"We are outraged at the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA) and are hurting for the St. Johns Community. The powers that be in the ELCA have struck the most Faustian of bargains. Presented with a loving and community-based alternative, the Committee on Appeals chose instead to willfully sacrifice the few, in this case the beloved Pastor Bradley Schmeling and his spirit-filled congregational family St. Johns Lutherans church, on the altar of expediency. The committee has acted to hurt lesbian and gay people and those who love us in the cynical belief that we will simply go away. They obviously dont know us and have forgotten Gods constant love and Gods call to justice. We will not go away. In fact, we will be present with Goodsoil and Lutherans Concerned at the ELCA Churchwide Assembly and at every Churchwide Assembly from now until the gifts and graces for ministry of all people are both recognized and celebrated.

HRCs Religion and Faith Program gives voice to the fair-minded faithful, opens hearts and minds to new ways of viewing lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, and effectively works to reclaim the faith-based debate from the intolerant and radical right. The Human Rights Campaign is America s largest civil rights organization working to achieve gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against GLBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

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