US Evangelical Lutheran Church suspends its first transgender bishop over racism
(Worthy News) – A ministerial branch of Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has suspended the denomination’s first transgender bishop following allegations of racist conduct against the “Latinx community” in Stockton, California, the Washington Times reports.
Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries (ELM) announced its decision to suspend Bishop Megan Rohrer on December 16.
Rohrer had served as leader of the church’s Sierra Pacific Synod for three months prior to their suspension, the Times said. The disciplinary action came after Rohrer engaged in “an existing pattern of behavior” that didn’t align with ELM’s being “an anti-racist organization,” ELM said in a statement.
In its statement, ELM said the suspension was a response to “recent harm done … to the Latinx community in Stockton, CA.” In particular, the bishop was alleged to have used “racist words and actions [that] have harmed members of the ELM staff, board, and community.” Moreover, Rohrer had rejected an invitation to repair relationships.
Aged 41, Rohrer was installed as leader of the ELCA’s Sierra Pacific Synod on September 11, 2021, for a six-year term, the Times said. Upon their ordination, Rohrer said: “My fervent prayer [is we] will have a day when all people’s private parts are private matters. And we don’t have to talk about it in public and lift up who’s transgender or who’s not transgender.”