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Rev. Susan Russell Headshot

Lutherans Step Up; Illinois Strikes Out

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May 31, 2013 will be remembered as the day the Southwest Lutheran Synod made history by electing the first openly gay bishop in the Lutheran Church and the Illinois House of Representatives failed to make history by refusing to bring marriage equality to a vote.

The election of R. Guy Erwin is a source of great joy to all who look to the church to be a beacon of love, justice and compassion for all God's beloved people. And the failure of the Illinois legislature to act for equality is the source of great disappointment to all who believe that liberty and justice for all should actually apply to "all."

As a clergy colleague of bishop-elect Erwin I'll look forward to working with him and the members of his Synod to continue to spread the good news of God's inclusive love to all people. And as a marriage equality activist I'll continue to support those who will be working in Illinois to move beyond today's shameful example of justice denied.

We have been told that the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice. On May 31, 2013 the Lutherans bent that arc a little closer to justice for their LGBT members - and I look forward to the day when we can say that Illinois has gone and done likewise.