In the US state of Wisconsin, the United Methodist Church have brought a case against a lesbian minister, through which they hope to dismiss her from the clergy.
Rev. Amy DeLong presided over a holy union ceremony for a lesbian couple in 2009. She also registered with her partner of 15 years, under the state’s Domestic Partnership Law. Knowing the risks involved, Rev. DeLong reported both of these actions to the Church’s governing body.
The case against the minister, set for trial in April, has prompted 32 retired Methodist bishops to write a letter to the Wisconsin United Methodist Church, compelling its leaders to drop the ban on ministers who are “self-proclaimed practicing homosexuals”. The United Methodist Church is the third-largest denomination in the US. Ministers are prohibited from performing same-sex unions and gay ministers are only allowed if they don’t reveal their sexuality, or if they’re celibate.
Rev. DeLong said: “I want to help the church be true to its proclamations. We don’t have to earn our way into God’s heart. We’ve already been accepted”.