Lutheran Church elects first transgender bishop

The Evangelical Lutheran church has elected its firs transgender bishop making it the first major American Christian denomination to do so.

Megan Rohrer, pastor at San Francisco’s Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church, was elected bishop for the Sierra Pacific Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Elizabeth A Eaton who is Evangelical Lutherans presiding bishop praised the decision. Saying, “When we say all are welcome, we mean all are welcome,” Eaton said in a statement. “We believe that the Spirit has given each of us gifts in order to build up the body of Christ.”

Rohrer 41, who uses they/them pronouns in 2006 also became the first transgender person ordained by the Evangelical Lutheran church, and she became the first trans pastor in 2014 at then what was called Grace Lutheran.

Rohrer said in a statement, “I came out around the same time period as Matthew Shepard’s murder,” Rohrer said. “That was a very palpable time in American history, particularly for LGBTQ folk. For me, it was some of the most intense moments of experiencing people questioning whether or not God could love me.”

Matthew Shepard was a gay young man who was beaten “not” because of his sexual preference but because two drug induced men Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson were high and in a drug induced state beat Matthew to death. They were later apprehended and brought to justice.

Rohrer said that when she was in school at Augustana University, a private Lutheran college in Sioux Falls a campus pastor let her know that “God didn’t have a problem” with her being “LGBTG,” Rohrer said.

In addition to her pastoral duties at Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church, she is an outspoken advocate for San Francisco’s LGBTQ community

While both the she and the Evangelical Lutheran church have come under scrutiny for allowance and practice of such sexual preferences that go against the fundamental tenants of the Christian faith and the biblical liturgy.

The denomination has yet to give a satisfactory answer of their denial of biblical texts prohibiting the practice and why they do not adhere to or claim to follow Christs teachings yet deny the fundamental familial bulwark that God has ordained.

With nearly 3.3 million members, the ELCA is one of the largest Christian denominations in the United States. The Rev. Dawn Bennett, a Lutheran pastor at The Table, an LGBTQ-centered congregation in Nashville, Tennessee, called Rohrer’s election “quite encouraging.”

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