Truth Wins Out praised the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA) today for voting to allow gay and lesbian clergy in committed same-sex relationships to serve as ministers. The vote, 559-541, was historic and follows similar action by the Episcopal Church.

“The old prejudices and prohibitions are falling and religion can no longer be used to rationalize discrimination,” said Wayne Besen, Executive Director of Truth Wins Out. “We applaud The Evangelical Lutheran Church of America for their courage and wisdom and urge other faiths to follow their example.”

In its vote, the church elected to “allow congregations that choose to do so to recognize, support and hold publicly accountable, lifelong, monogamous, same-gender relationships.” The church also voted to approve a social statement on human sexuality to acknowledge without judgment the wide variety of views within the ELCA regarding lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender inclusion.

“This is a wonderful, joyous occasion that captures the heart of Christ – which is about love,” said Rev. Jerry Stephenson, who advises Truth Wins Out on religious issues. “This vote was moral, just and in the spirit of justice.”