SAN FRANCISCO (RNS, TAB) — A prominent evangelical Christian church in San Francisco has announced it will no longer ask members who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) to remain celibate. City Church’s change of membership requirements places it alongside GracePointe Church, Nashville, and EastLake Community Church, Seattle, in celibacy policies. Southern Baptist Theological Seminary President Albert Mohler tweeted that the decision was “tragic.” Pastor Fred Harrell Sr. said in a letter emailed to City Church members:
“Imagine feeling this from your family or religious community. ‘If you stay, you must accept celibacy with no hope that you too might one day enjoy the fullness of intellectual, spiritual, emotional, psychological and physical companionship. If you pursue a lifelong partnership, you are rejected.’ This is simply not working and people are being hurt. We must listen and respond.”
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