Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada - Same-sex Unions

Same-sex Unions

In 2006, the Eastern Synod voted to allow individual pastors and congregations to conduct blessing of same-sex unions, prompting a dispute between the synod and the national church over which body has the authority to make such a decision. The national church had previously voted against blessings, and the ELCIC's full communion partner, the Anglican Church of Canada, had voted to defer a decision. On June 23, 2007, at its National Convention, the ELCIC voted, by a 200-181 vote margin, against authorizing the Synods to devise individual mission strategies in regard to ministering to people who live in committed same-sex relationships, including the possibility of blessing such unions. The Eastern Synod Council, while affirming its jurisdiction in the matter, agreed to hold its decision in abeyance pending a decision by the national church.

In July 2011, the National Convention of the ELCIC adopted a new social statement on human sexuality and approved a motion allowing pastors whose conscience permits, in consultation with their congregations, to preside at marriages for same-gender couples. Some have claimed that the adoption of "ELCIC Social Statement on Human Sexuality" openly violates Article 2 of the ELCIC constitution, and have challenged the adoption as a violation of the ELCIC's constitution; the challenge has been placed before the ELCIC's Board of Adjudication.

The Board responded that it had the option not to review complaints made by individuals, and in this case it decided not to take action. The Board requires a 2/3rds vote from the National Convention to take any action. It can't take action against the National Convention, and the National Convention can overturn any vote by the Board of Adjudication. The Board can only offer suggestions to the national convention. The letter sent to the Board contained 69 pages of information.

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    When Hitler attacked the Jews ... I was not a Jew, therefore, I was not concerned. And when Hitler attacked the Catholics, I was not a Catholic, and therefore, I was not concerned. And when Hitler attacked the unions and the industrialists, I was not a member of the unions and I was not concerned. Then, Hitler attacked me and the Protestant church—and there was nobody left to be concerned.
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