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God’s Love Is Unconditional for Homosexuals (& Therefore for Everyone)

The Rev. Bradley Schmeling told his bishop and his congregation about his homosexual orientation before he was hired as pastor of the oldest Lutheran church in Atlanta, Georgia. After he had been on the job, he announced that he found a homosexual partner. His congregation gave a party for him and his partner.

Bishop Ronald Warren of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) asked Schmeling to resign. Schmeling did not resign, so Warren started disciplinary action.

According to a report in the Guardian (Jan. 18), “The ELCA…bars unmarried clergy — whether gay or straight — from having sex. The denomination believes that sex is reserved for marriage, and marriage for heterosexual couples. Still, many Lutheran churches support ordaining partnered gays, and perform same-sex blessing ceremonies despite the policy…. In 2005, delegates to an ELCA national meeting rejected a proposal to allow sexually active gays and lesbians in committed, long-term relationships to be ordained. Schmeling and his supporters say the policy barring sexually active gay pastors is discriminatory by forcing them to refrain from sex, while heterosexuals only have to wait for marriage.”

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