Gay and Lesbian People in the Military
ELCA Churchwide Assembly Action CA93.06.12
Passed by the 1993 Churchwide Assembly in Kansas City, Missouri.
To transmit the following minute as information on gay and lesbian people in the military to the Metropolitan Washington, D.C., Synod as the response of the 1993 Churchwide Assembly:
The material that was included in background for the memorials on "Treatment of Gay and Lesbian People" might be helpful in regard to this memorial as well.
Early in 1993, Bishop Herbert W. Chilstrom wrote to President William Clinton and General Colin Powell to support the president’s intention to lift the ban on homosexual persons in the armed services. Based on prior statements issued by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and its predecessor churches, these letters were written to advocate for the civil rights of gay and lesbian people. Bishop Chilstrom emphasized, "They should be judged on the basis of their conduct rather than their sexual orientation." He also indicated that the conduct of heterosexual people must be considered as well. He wrote, "I am only pointing out that we should not allow the sexual misconduct of some gay and lesbian persons to prevent others from serving in the military, any more than we would allow the misconduct of some heterosexual persons to prevent others from serving."