Georgia Lutherans Welcome You provides information on Lutheran churches in our state which publicly, actively, and intentionally welcome and affirm people of all sexual orientations and gender identities. By “affirm,” among other things, we mean that these churches offer full support to LGBTQIA relationships (such as pastoral counseling, encouraging LGBTQIA couples who attend church together to grow together in faith), and also celebrate marriages between same-sex or same-gender couples.
All Lutheran congregations and organizations in the United States which both welcome and affirm LGBTQIA people are affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). The ELCA is one of the most LGBTQIA-affirming religious denominations in the United States:
- It ordains openly gay or lesbian pastors who are partnered in a same-gender relationship.
- It was among the first Christian denominations in the U.S. to approve the blessing of same-gender relationships (before marriage equality was the law of the land).
- On June 23, 2015, ELCA pastors were among the first in America to marry same-gender couples.
- Through its Advocacy office in Washington, DC, and its overall governing body Churchwide Assembly, the ELCA has worked to promote LGBTQIA equality for over 20 years.
Please note, ELCA churchwide policy currently permits each ELCA church (congregations together with their pastors) to set its own policy on whether to perform same-gender marriages.
Through its Advocacy office in Washington, DC, the ELCA has long worked to promote LGBTQIA equality. The ELCA’s highest governing body (Churchwide Assembly) has repeatedly spoken out against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, including discrimination in housing, employment, and marriage rights, and has endorsed proposed federal laws banning such discrimination. It passed an endorsement of a proposed federal law called the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, as early as 1997. The ELCA’s official policy is that the presiding (nationwide) bishop must publicly support federal and state legislation prohibiting employment discrimination on the basis of actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. ELCA synods (regional organizations, each headed by its own bishop), congregations and members are encouraged to do the same. Finally, the ELCA actively opposes all efforts to pass a U.S. Constitutional amendment banning marriages between same-gender couples.
We invite you to visit and support any of the listed congregations, which intentionally welcome people of all sexual orientations and gender identities. Each one has been a local pioneer in its own way!
“Welcome one another therefore, as Christ has welcomed you.”