Chicago A task force of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America recommended Thursday that its leaders make changes to allow gays and lesbians in committed relationships to serve as clergy.
At the same time, the task force also proposed giving individual congregations the local option to reject a gay clergy member.
If approved, the measures would change current church policy that allows ordination of gay clergy but requires them to be celibate. In the report, the task force proposed a four-step process that outlines a possible path for change, starting with recognition of same-sex relationships.
“The task force agreed that this church cannot responsibly consider any changes to its policies unless this church is able and willing in some way to recognize lifelong, monogamous, same-gender relationships,” the report said.
The recommendations will be voted on at the Churchwide Assembly in Minneapolis in August.