On Friday, August 21, 2009, leaders of the Lutheran church have voted to allow sexually active gays and lesbians who are in a committed relationship to serve as clergy.
The Lutheran church currently allows gays and lesbians to serve as ministers only if they remain celibate.
The proposal to change old rule passed with a 68% approval vote.
The Lutheran church in America has 4.7 million members and 10,000 congregations.
The individual congregations will hold the final decision to allow a gay or lesbian clergy to be hired at their own parish.