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Niederlagen für US-Homos
- 07.07.2006, 19:15h
- THE RECORD (July 7. -Waterloo - Ontario - Canada)
Synod softens stand on gay unions
Lutherans vote on 'local option' for blessings
Homosexual Lutheran couples from Ontario to the Maritimes could soon have their relationships blessed by their pastors.
In a historic move during their biennial convention in Waterloo (Canada) yesterday, Eastern Synod delegates of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada voted 197 - 75 to allow individual congregations to decide whether to perfom blessings for same-sex couples.
"It was clear," said Rev. Michael Pryse, the Eastern Synod bishop. "That's solid suport."
The decision came after about an hour of passionate debate that left opponents of same-sex blessings sombre.
"It's a triumph of emotion over reason," said Ken Shultz, a lay delegate from Ottawa.
In Canada, the only other mainline church body allowing blessings for same-sex couples is the Anglican Church of Canada's New Westminster diocese in B.C.
The United Church of Canada is the only mainline denomination in Canada that will marry same-sex couples.
The decision by Lutheran delegates in Waterloo yesterday allows pastors to bless the unions of same-sex couples - who commit to being in lifelong relationship - only after pastors consult their bishop and after a two-thirds majority vote by the congregation.
The move is known as the "local option."
The decision does not allow gay couples to wed in Lutheran churches.
It could be months before homosexual Lutheran couples can get their unions blessed.
Opponents plan to table a motion at the synod convention, today or tomorrow, to appeal yesterday's decision.