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J. Shane Mercer, Published August 21 2009

ELCA assembly approves allowing congregations to recognize gay relationships

MINNEAPOLIS - The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Churchwide Assembly passed a resolution, 619-402, this morning that allows congregations to recognize gay relationships.

But an even more historic vote regarding whether the ELCA will allow non-celibate gays to become clergy still looms for the assembly, which is meeting at the Minneapolis Convention Center through Sunday.

This morning's resolution that passed will be seen by many members of the ELCA as a departure from the church's tradtional condemnation of homosexual behavior and may cause some congregations to leave the fold as has happened with other denominations which have recognized gay relationships.

In the language of the resolution, the motion commits the church to "finding ways to allow congregations that choose to do so to recognize, support and hold publicly accountable life-long, monogamous, same-gender relationships."

For further updates from the ELCA convention check back to www.inforum.com and read Saturday's Forum