More than 200 clergy joined a growing list of United Methodist ministers in pledging to support same-sex civil unions despite any possible repercussions from the church.
After civil unions were officially made legal in the state of Illinois on the first of June, 208 members of the clergy belonging to The United Methodist Church there have signed a pledge stating that they will oversee same-sex civil unions, the Chicago Tribune reports.
The Northern Illinois Conference for the United Methodists has consisted of major supporters of gay rights for some time. Earlier in June, the conference took an initial vote to end discrimination against same-sex couples, and they plan on petitioning the denomination's next global gathering in 2012. They now stand alongside clergy from the New England region, New York, and Minnesota who have taken similar action, according to the Huffington Post. more >>
A lesbian minister was suspended from her church duties Thursday and ordered to spend the next 20 days as a time for spiritual discernment. A jury of 13 United Methodist clergy convicted the Rev. Amy DeLong on a charge of performing a same-sex union, which is in violation of church law.
The jury voted 9-4 to suspend the pastor beginning in July. The same jury Wednesday found DeLong not guilty in a unanimous decision of the charge of being a “self-avowed practicing homosexual.”
Her conviction on the same-sex union violation came on a 12-1 vote. more >>
A jury of 13 Wisconsin ordained elders convicted a lesbian minister of performing a September 2009 same-sex wedding for a lesbian couple despite a United Methodist Church ban on the practice.
However, the jury acquitted the Rev. Amy DeLong on a second charge of being a “self-avowed practicing homosexual.” The vote was 12-1.
The United Methodist Church permits gay and lesbian ministers to serve as long as they remain celibate. The church does not permit clergy to perform same-sex marriage rituals. more >>
An openly lesbian United Methodist minister will face a jury of her peers on two charges of violating by-laws beginning Tuesday in Kaukauna, Wis.
The Rev. Amy DeLong faces two charges of breaking the denomination’s ban on homosexuality. DeLong reportedly conducted a ceremony in 2009 that wedded a lesbian couple in addition to her admission of a same-sex relationship. She has been involved in pastoral ministry for eight years, according to the United Methodist News Service.
The three-day trial before a panel of 13 of her fellow Wisconsin United Methodist ministers is described in the Church’s Book of Discipline as a last resort, according to the UMNS. more >>
Alabama United Methodist Church leaders are in stark opposition to the new state’s law on illegal immigrants, recently signed by Governor Robert J. Bentley.
Known as HB 56, the legislation has been called the “meanest bill in the nation” with provisions affecting everything from transportation to school districts, and is being met with much disapproval from religious communities.
South Alabama Methodist Bishop Paul W. Leeland joined North Alabama Bishop William H. Willimon on Wednesday, issuing a statement against the new law, The Associated Press reported. more >>
Same-sex marriage is illegal in Minnesota but 70 United Methodist clergy in the state have signed a statement saying they will marry gay couples.
"We joyfully affirm that we will offer the grace of the Church’s blessing to any prepared couple desiring Christian marriage," reads the statement introduced this week at the 2011 Minnesota Annual Conference.
"We are convinced by the witness of others and are compelled by Spirit and conscience to act. We thank the many United Methodists who have already called for full equality and inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in the life of the Church." more >>