Transgender man, Asher O'Callaghan, ordained by the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America

Tonight, Asher O'Callaghan will become the first known transgender person to be ordained through the regular ordination process of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA). Other openly transgender pastors were ordained outside the regular process of the ELCA, prior to 2009, when the ELCA opened the door to greater acceptance of LGBT people in the ministry by voting to ordain pastor in same-sex relationships. O'Callaghan will be ordained to serve the Rocky Mountain Synod in Denver, Colorado, and he has been called by Zion Lutheran Church in Idaho Springs, Colorado, to serve as their pastor.

In a statement released by Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries, which is a social ministry organization supporting LGBT pastors, seminarians, and their ministries, O'Callaghan said:

“I’m thrilled to be getting ordained to be a pastor and leader within the church I love. The ELCA, Zion Lutheran, and House For All Sinners and Saints have helped to show me that we truly are living in a new day. The Church is changing: There's no need to choose between living life as your fullest self and belonging to a community of faith. For transgender people, this means that there are congregations who will affirm, respect, and celebrate our faith and our gender identities.”

O'Callaghan will be ordained at House For All Sinners and Saints, which worships at St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Denver. Since its founding, the congregation has been an open place for people of all sexual orientations and gender identities.