FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Greg A. Egertson, Co-Chair, LLGM
E-mail: [email protected]
SF MAYOR GAVIN NEWSOM TO RECEIVE AWARD AT GAY LUTHERANS' ANNIVERSARY
Celebration Takes Place as the
Study of Homosexuality
San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom will be the featured speaker at
Lutheran Lesbian and
The mayor will speak at a gala banquet at the Cathedral Hill Hotel on
Voice of Distinction Award for his leadership in seeking to legalize
same-sex marriage in
The occasion celebrates the 15th anniversary of the ordinations of the
first openly gay and lesbian
Lutheran pastors in the
Ministries, an advocacy organization for full participation for LGBT
people in the
The 1990 ordinations were controversial because the candidates had not
been approved for ordination by the parent church body, the Evangelical
Lutheran seminaries and had qualified for call and ordination in all
respects, except that they did not agree to abstain from homosexual
sexual relationships, as required by the ELCA’s policy. After a church
trial, the calling congregations, St. Francis and First United Lutheran
The expulsions brought national attention to ministries with gay and
lesbian people, and sparked a lively debate among Lutherans.
Fifteen years later, both churches are alive and well, the three
ordained people are still involved in ministry, and the struggle by
LGBT people for full participation in the life of the church and
The gala celebration comes two days after the Evangelical Lutheran
the current policy that requires openly gay and lesbian pastors to remain
"We are dismayed and deeply saddened by the taskforce’s report," said
Greg Egertson, Co-Chair of Lutheran Lesbian & Gay Ministries.
"After four years of study, we expected more leadership from our
church, and more progress toward justice. Instead, the recommendations
continue to encourage the discrimination of gay and lesbian pastors
in our church," Egertson said.
"Even so, this is a time of celebration for us," Egertson said. "Our
numbers are growing, our ministries are thriving and the gifts of gay
and lesbian Lutheran pastors are being recognized, affirmed and shared.
If you want to see the future face of inclusive Lutheran ministry,
this is it."
The anniversary event will be preceded by a worship service
at St. Francis Lutheran Church,
honoring the ministries of nearly 40 LGBT pastors and seminarians who
have been rostered with the Extraordinary Candidacy Project, and the
history of the Lutheran ministries to lesbian and gay people which
began 15 years ago.