Recommendation two (of four) has just passed on the floor of the ELCA 2009 General Assembly. The vote was 61% for and 39% against, and it reads as follows:From the Lead, they are voting in order on the following resolutions,each requiring only a simple majority.
Resolved that the ELCA commit itself to finding ways to allow congregations that choose to do so to recognize, support, and hold publicly accountable, life-long, monogamous same gender relationships.
During debate, both opponents and proponents of the recommendation suggested that this open ended recommendation will allow local congregations to conduct gay marriage ceremonies (if allowed in that state). They are probably right. I think the ELCA has just approved rites for gay marriage, in principal.
1 (originally 3) asks this church whether, in the future implementation of these commitments, it will make decisions so that all in this church bear the burdens of the other, and respect the bound consciences of all.
passed 771 to 230.
2 (originally 1) asks the assembly whether, in principle, this church is committed to finding ways to allow congregations and synods that choose to do so to recognize, support and hold publicly accountable, lifelong, monogamous, same-gender relationships.
passed 619 yes to 402 no.
3 (originally 2) asks the assembly whether, in principle, this church is committed to finding a way for people in such publicly accountable, lifelong, monogamous, same-gender relationships to serve as professional leaders of this church.
4. Step four proposes the specifics of how this church can move toward change in a way that respects the bound consciences of all.
Passed 667 to 307
UpdateHere's a new acronym for you: PALMSGR. It means "publicly accountable, lifelong, monogamous, same-gender relationships". that's the new standard for partnered gay clergy in the ELCA. But the question is, what does "publicly accountable" really MEAN? I suppose it means that if you can get married in your state, you should be; ditto for DP or CU. But what if you were married in another state but your current state doesn't recognize it? Or if your current state has a hate amendment against any gay unions? What does "publicly accountable" mean then?
Update 2 The LEad reports on the last resolution THere's a boatload of resolutions calling for study of the issue, policy development, and provisions for those who disagree.