The ELCF takes a mini-step forward

A meeting of the General Synod of Finland's Evangelical Lutheran Church voted Friday [November 12] to permit pastors to offer prayers on behalf of same-sex couples. The vote was postponed by a day because of extended debate on the issue. The annual meeting of representatives of Finland's dominant church approved a committee proposal that allows pastors to pray on behalf of same-sex couples, but not offer a blessing as is done in traditional weddings. The prayers will not be classed as a formal church service. This means that pastors will not be required to offer prayers for same-sex couples.
All 108 delegates voted, with 78 approving the plan and 30 opposing.
The committee backed the view that marriage is a union between a man and a woman.
Although a vote had been planned for Thursday, so many representatives asked to address the Synod that the debate was scheduled to continue late into the evening and the vote delayed until Friday.
Roughly eight out of 10 people in Finland are registered as Lutheran. The church suffered an upswing in resignations this autumn linked to gay rights issues.

YLE 12.11.10

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