Augustana Chapel To Allow Same-Sex Weddings - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Augustana Chapel To Allow Same-Sex Weddings

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Same-Sex ceremonies will now be allowed in the chapel at Lutheran-based Augustana College in Rock Island. Steve Bahls, Augustana College President, said a recent decision by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America gave him the choice and that he based his decision on a recommendation from the campus chaplains.

"That really is a response both to our values as a college and to the ELCA Lutheran Church wide assembly in 2009, which voted to allow pastor's and congregations in the ELCA to publicly support and affirm gay partnerships," said Augustana Pastor Richard Prigge.

In an email to the campus community, Bahls said he did not want to discriminate against students or faculty members. So far, school officials say the responses have been overwhelmingly positive.

"There's been a terrific amount of support. Many of them saying, 'this makes me proud to be an alum.' So we've been heartened by the response and look forward now to the first gay unions happening," Prigge added.

Couples who wish to have a ceremony at the college's chapel must be affiliated with Augustana.