Lutheran church to reinstate gay pastor in Atlanta

ATLANTA (AP) - A Lutheran denomination is in the process of reinstating a gay pastor and his partner to its clergy roster.

In a statement Tuesday, the Chicago-based Evangelical Lutheran Church in America says the Rev. Bradley Schmeling and the Rev. Darin Easler have been approved for reinstatement. Schmeling, who serves as pastor of St. John's Lutheran Church in Atlanta, was removed from the church's clergy roster in 2007 for being in a same-gender relationship with Easler.

The church adopted revisions to ministry policy documents last month, making it possible for "eligible Lutherans in publicly accountable, lifelong, monogamous, same-gender relationships" to serve as clergy.

Easler was removed from the clergy roster in 2006 after having been without a parish for three years.

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