Lutheran Church to Reinstate a Gay Pastor

ATLANTA-- A Lutheran denomination is reinstating a gay Atlanta pastor and his partner to its clergy roster.

The Chicago-based Evangelical Lutheran Church in America said Tuesday the Rev. Bradley Schmeling and the Rev. Darin Easler have been approved for reinstatement.

Schmeling, who served as pastor of St. John 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.