In yet another indication of American Christianity's increasing hospitality to LGBTs among the faithful, a southern California Lutheran synod has elected an openly gay pastor to serve as its bishop. The Reverend Dr. R. Guy Erwin's selection earlier this year is indeed historic for the four-million member Evangelical Lutheran Church of America on three scores. He is openly gay, partnered, and Native American – a member of Osage Tribe. Erwin, 55, will be formally welcomed next week in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, when ELCA's Churchwide Assembly meets August 12-17.
For 17 years, Ken Bencomo taught English at a Catholic school in California. He also taught dance and worked with students on their yearbook. And Ken’s partner was part of his school community. Ken’s students knew he was gay. Ken’s administration knew he was gay. But last week – the very same week that the pope asked “who am I to judge?” in response to a question about gay Catholic leadership – Ken was fired for legally marrying his partner of 10 years.
Stephen Lovegrove, a rising junior at Charleston Southern University, was informed this past Monday that he had lost his work-study position a resident advisor (RA) at his school after he began posting on the internet about being gay and Christian.