BY SARAH VRBA
It’s been 17 years since the First United Lutheran Church in San Francisco has been an official part of the larger Lutheran religious structure. The community was barred from Lutheran inclusion in the 1990s after they ordained an openly gay pastor. Another church, St Francis Lutheran Church in San Francisco, was barred at the same time for ordaining two lesbian pastors, the San Francisco Examiner points out.
The ban became effective in 1995 and it wasn’t until 2009 that the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ECLA) voted to change the rules. Openly gay men and women were suddenly welcomed back into the Lutheran community. Leaders in the ECLA even asked current reverends of both of the churches that had been barred from acceptance for forgiveness, hoping the congregations would come back to the denomination.
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