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He is the first gay pastor from Bavaria, who lives with his partner in the rectory: Ulrich Hardt from the Frankish Kirchrüsselbach. Residents meet the clergy openly and with curiosity. But it is not always easy.
If Kirschenzeit is in Kirchrüsselbach, then the whole village is out there. There are thousands of cherry trees in the Franconian Switzerland, and all of them have a lot of work during the harvest. But on Sunday, when Pastor Ulrich Hardt has held its first worship, because they have simply hang the cherries around Unterbach trunk, trunk Mittelbach and Oberrüsselbach. Because the rows were full in St. James the apostle. That has never been to the Kirschenzeit.
"The Church must have to do with life", says the pastor. Therefore, it is fine if people are curious. For this reason, it is also in order, that he loves a man. With his partner Udo Wex he is pulled in Kirchrüsselbach in the District of Forchheim in the rectory. As the first homosexual couple in Bavaria.
The Evangelical Synod of the country decided in March after fierce local debate to allow same-sex couples living in the rectory if they entered into a registered partnership and Church Council, Dean, regional Bishop and country Council of churches unanimously agree.
"I think we have made a good catch," says Karin Hammerand. Just it indicated the reading at St. James the Apostle, and for 16 years already, she engaged in the Church Council. That they should get a gay pastor and man, that it should catch the Rüsselbacher so to speak as the first, which has surprised them is clear, and as are presented both at the Church Council, since many questions were set. "But he was very honest and open," says Karin, England edge. And then, the Panel unanimously decided that it wanted to have Ulrich Hardt as pastor.
Three there are two, but already in place, which is not right, and also from the neighbouring parishes, there have been a few critical tones. But the Kirchrüsselbacher want to keep out. That is why the entire Church Council again takes to the election. As a sign that they stand by their pastor.
In the living room of the pale pink vicarage which was built probably at some point in the 1960s, even the bare bulb from the ceiling dangles. Images are missing, and the Apple tree with Purple Ribbon, which they got free to move, the wait still on the terrace ensure that someone in the garden planting it. But the boxes are unpacked all and Mr Lohse and LaQuisha feel also already at home. The two Tomcats Hardt and Wex have brought from a trip to the Baltic Sea, and because they are such great fans of Loriot, animals such as Mr Lohse and the Mayor of hot "Papa ante portas".