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social sciences

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The success in 2009 owes much to organizations that work within Lutheran denominations to further the acceptance of gay men and lesbians. They deserve credit for their persistence in the face of numerous rejections. Among them are the Lutheran Network for Inclusive Vision and the umbrella group Goodsoil, which work within ELCA.

But perhaps the most effective of these "welcoming groups" is the largest and oldest, Lutherans Concerned/North America, which was founded in 1974. It works within ELCA, ELCIC, and other Lutheran churches to promote the inclusion of people of all sexual orientations and gender identities. It sponsors a Reconciling in Christ program to identify and recognize Lutheran congregations that welcome glbtq believers.

Sponsor Message.

Another Lutheran organization that has played an important role in the quest for full inclusion in Lutheran denominations is Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries. This organization credentials and rosters qualified candidates of all sexual orientations and gender identities for ministry within Lutheran churches, and supports their ministries by connecting them with congregations who are committed to the full participation of all in ecclesial life.

Claude J. Summers

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social sciences >> Overview:  Anglicanism / Episcopal Church

The Anglican Communion, of which the Episcopal Church in the U. S. A. is a part, has dealt with issues of sexuality in complex ways, not all of them favorable to its glbtq membership.

social sciences >> Overview:  Canada

In 2005 Canada became the fourth country to recognize same-sex marriages; the milestone victory solidified Canada's position as a leader in the struggle for glbtq equality.

social sciences >> Overview:  Commitment Ceremonies

Similar to heterosexual weddings, commitment ceremonies of same-sex partnerships are legally recognized in some countries, but generally not in the United States.

social sciences >> Overview:  Denmark

Denmark has a reputation for sexual liberation, tolerance, and progressive social policy in regards to glbtq issues.

social sciences >> Overview:  Evangelical Christians

Evangelical Christians, who tend to be fundamentalists and socially conservative, have not been welcoming to glbtq people.

social sciences >> Overview:   Norway

Like most Scandinavian countries, Norway respects glbtq rights, and Norwegians are broadly tolerant of homosexuals.

social sciences >> Overview:  Presbyterianism

Attitudes toward homosexuality within Presbyterianism vary greatly from denomination to denomination, though there has recently been movement toward acceptance and inclusion by the largest and most influential church bodies of Presbyterianism.

social sciences >> Overview:  Reparative Therapy

Reparative therapy is a dangerously misguided attempt, supported by homophobic religious organizations, to change a person's sexual orientation from homosexual to heterosexual.

social sciences >> Overview:  Roman Catholicism

Historically, the Roman Catholic Church may be the institution most responsible for the suffering of individuals involved in same-sex sexual relationships.

social sciences >> Overview:  Same-Sex Marriage

Lesbian and gay couples have been fighting for the freedom to marry since the dawn of the modern glbtq struggle for equality; despite some success abroad, progress toward same-sex marriage in the United States has been slow.

social sciences >> Overview:  Sweden

A liberal and democratic kingdom, Sweden has a reputation for sexual openness, yet it maintains a law that punishes buyers of sex from prostitutes.

social sciences >> Overview:  United Church of Canada

The United Church of Canada has been instrumental in the increased acceptance of glbtq rights, including same-sex marriage, in Canada.

social sciences >> Robinson, V. Gene

The Right Reverend Gene Robinson, the first openly gay man to be consecrated a bishop of the Episcopal Church, has earned strong support from members of his diocese, but has become a lightning rod for conservatives within the Anglican Communion.


Church of Sweden Website:

Evangelical Church in Germany Website:

Evangelical Lutheran Church of America Website:

Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada Website:

Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland Website:

Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries Website:

"German Lutherans Debate Election of Gay Bishop." Deutsche Welle (June 19, 2008):,,3423656,00.html

Gritsch, Earl W. A History of Lutheranism. Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, 2002.

Goodsoil Website:

"Homosexuality in the Lutheran Church: Brotherly Love." The Economist (October 15, 2009):

"Human Sexuality: Gift and Trust. A Social Statement of the Evangelical Lutheran Church." Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (August 19, 2009):

Lutheran Church Missouri Synod Website:

Lutheran CORE (Coalition for Renewal) Website:

Lutheran Network for Inclusive Vision Website:

Lutherans Concerned / North America Website:

Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance. "Evangelical Lutheran Church of America." ReligiousTolerance.Org (2009):


    Citation Information
    Author: Summers, Claude J.  
    Entry Title: Lutheranism  
    General Editor: Claude J. Summers  
    Publication Name: glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual,
Transgender, and Queer Culture
    Publication Date: 2009  
    Date Last Updated August 22, 2013  
    Web Address  
    Publisher glbtq, Inc.
1130 West Adams
Chicago, IL   60607
    Today's Date  
    Encyclopedia Copyright: © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.  
    Entry Copyright © 2009 glbtq, Inc.  


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