Leaders of the country's largest Lutheran denomination are set to decide whether gay and lesbian pastors in committed relationships should be allowed to lead individual congregations.
The 1,045 delegates to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's convention in Minneapolis are scheduled to vote today on the gay clergy proposal.
Gays and lesbians are currently allowed to serve as ELCA ministers only if they remain celibate. If delegates approve the proposal, the church will join a growing list of mainline Christian denominations to liberalize attitudes toward homosexuality.
Critics say the proposed policy goes against clear Scriptural guidance that homosexuality is sinful, and have predicted some congregations could split with the ELCA over the issue.