One of the duties of the Secretary of the ELCA is to “prepare interpretations, as necessary, of the Constitutions, Bylaws, and Continuing Resolutions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.” (read here) So the Secretary of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, David Swartling, is the highest authority in the ELCA when it come to interpreting ELCA policy. He says the ELCA allows the performing of homosexual marriages.
An Executive Director of a gay rights advocacy organization responded to Secretary Swartling's statement this way, “The clarification by Secretary of the ELCA Swartling is a benchmark of the position that ELCA policy takes nationally on the subject of pastors and congregations marrying same-gender couples where that is legal." (see here) What the Executive Director says is true. There should be no doubt that this is the ELCA's official stance. Do not allow anyone to tell you otherwise.
The media even confirms this. The Santa Fe New Mexican news site reported, in an article this summer, “Today, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America allows ordination of clergy in same-sex relationships. Blessings of same-sex marriages — and marriages in states where they are legally permitted — are performed.” (read here)
This is important information because people continue to be given conflicting messages about the ELCA's position on gay marriage. One reader shared with me his concern about leaders trying to lessen or diminish the impact of the ELCA’s 2009 actions, stating, “ . . . ELCA bishops continue to tell congregations that the ELCA has not approved gay marriage taking place in its congregations.”
Do not be fooled. ELCA policy allows gay marriages in states where it is legal.