Current policy
Gay or lesbian people in a same-sex relationship are precluded from ordination. Celibate, self-identified homosexuals may be ordained. There is no official policy on the blessing of same-sex couples.
Task force recommendations
* That the ELCA find "ways to live together faithfully" despite disagreements. Church votes producing "winners" and "losers" were discouraged.
That no official ceremony be established for the blessing of same-sex relationships, but that pastors and congregations be entrusted to minister to such couples with "prayerful support" out of "pastoral care." Such prayerful support does not necessarily mean "public approval of homosexual sexual intimacy," nor is it equivalent to marriage.
That no change be made in the policy precluding the ordination of gay or lesbian people in same-sex relationships, but that the church "may choose to refrain from disciplining" such people or the congregations that call them to ministry. This would allow ELCA congregations and bishops to "make judgments appropriate to each situation."
The Churchwide Assembly will meet Aug. 8-14 in Orlando, Fla., to consider the task force report and any additional recommendations.
On the ELCA Web site at

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