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Church official reacts to ruling

February 05, 2009

Re "School wins bias case ruling," Jan. 28

Concerning the 4th District Court of Appeal's decision to uphold California Lutheran High School's expulsion of two girls "for having 'a bond of intimacy' that was 'characteristic of a lesbian relationship,' " please let me clarify that California Lutheran High School is operated by a small Lutheran sect with a limited presence in California. Neither the school nor its decision to expel the students represent the mainstream opinion of the Lutheran Church in California.

In fact, the Conference of Bishops of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (by far the largest Lutheran denomination in North America) declared in 1991 that "gay and lesbian people, as individuals created by God, are welcome to participate fully in the life of the congregations of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America." In 1993, the church expressed "strong opposition to all forms of verbal or physical harassment or assault of persons because of their sexual orientation, and support for the civil rights of all persons, regardless of their sexual orientation."

To our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters, the doors of the majority of mainstream Lutheran churches in California are open to you and celebrate with you God's love for all people.

The Rev. Pr. K. G.

Banwart Jr.

Glendale

The writer is secretary of the Southwest California Synod Council of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

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