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National News
Section One
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National News

by Rex Wockner - SGN Contributing Writer

Lutherans welcome noncelibate Gay pastors
The U.S.' largest Lutheran denomination, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, lifted a ban on noncelibate Gay clergy August 21.

The decision follows a recent similar move by the Episcopal Church.

ELCA gay and lesbian pastors now will be allowed to have sex in the confines of a "lifelong, monogamous ... relationship," church leaders decided at their Churchwide Assembly in Minneapolis.

About 4.6 million Americans belong to the ELCA.

Harvey Milk to be inducted into Calif. Hall of Fame
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and first lady Maria Shriver will induct the late Gay activist Harvey Milk into the California Hall of Fame on December 1.

The honor follows Milk's receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Barack Obama on August 12. Schwarzenegger's move is surprising given that he vetoed a bill last year to make Milk's birthday a "day of special significance" in California schools, saying in his veto message that Milk mostly was relevant only in San Francisco.

"I respect the author's intent to designate May 22nd as 'Harvey Milk Day' and a day of special significance for California public schools and educational institutions to honor Harvey Milk as an important community leader and public official in the city and county of San Francisco," Schwarzenegger wrote last year. "However, I believe his contributions should continue to be recognized at the local level by those who were most impacted by his contributions."

State Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, reintroduced the Harvey Milk Day bill this year. It has passed the Senate and awaits action in the Assembly before again landing on Schwarzenegger's desk.

Milk settled in San Francisco's Castro district in 1972 and opened a camera store. He went on to pioneer a populist Gay rights movement in the city and, in 1977, was elected to the Board of Supervisors, becoming the fourth openly Gay American elected to public office.

He and Mayor George Moscone were shot to death inside City Hall on November 27, 1978, by then recently resigned city Supervisor Dan White, who was angry that Moscone wouldn't let him un-resign and that Milk had lobbied Moscone not to reappoint White. White's lenient sentence for the killings (seven years and eight months with parole) led to the famed White Night Riots in San Francisco on May 21, 1979.

Others being inducted into the California Hall of Fame this year include TV star Carol Burnett, former Intel CEO Andrew Grove, former Gov. and U.S. Sen. Hiram Johnson, industrialist Henry J. Kaiser, philanthropist and activist Joan Kroc, filmmaker George Lucas, author Danielle Steel, bodybuilder Joe Weider and Air Force test pilot Chuck Yeager.



With assistance from Bill Kelley

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