(RNS) Years before the gay rights movement gained momentum, an openly gay black activist named Bayard Rustin advised Martin Luther King Jr. on nonviolent protest tactics and organized the 1963 March on Washington. But attacks on Rustin’s sexual orientation threatened his role in the civil rights movement.
An upstate New York bishop has dismissed a 2013 complaint that accused Steve Heiss, a retired United Methodist pastor, of breaking church law by officiating at several same-sex weddings, including his daughter’s.
Mark J. Webb’s May 26 decision to dismiss charges against Heiss eliminates a costly church trial.
(RNS) An Upstate New York bishop has dismissed a 2013 complaint that accused a retired United Methodist pastor of breaking church law by officiating at several same-sex weddings, including his daughter’s.
(RNS) In November, Sister Maureen Fiedler hand-delivered a letter to Pope Francis’ ambassador in Washington, D.C., urging the pontiff to renounce a series of 15th-century church documents that justify the colonization and oppression of indigenous peoples.
United Methodist bishop Martin D. McLee of New York announced he is dropping the case against a retired seminary dean who officiated at his gay son’s wedding. The bishop also called on March 10 for an end to church trials for clergy who breach rules against marrying same-sex couples.
A deep divide within the United Methodist Church over how to minister to gays and lesbians has led a Washington, D.C., pastor to suggest the denomination should not wait until its 2016 General Conference to change its policies.
(RNS) The Rev. Frank Schaefer was defrocked by United Methodist officials in Pennsylvania on Thursday (Dec. 19), after he refused to conform to denominational rules that prohibit ministers from officiating at same-sex weddings.
Schaefer, who pastors a church in Lebanon, Pa., said he plans to appeal the decision.
(RNS) The United Methodist Church’s division over homosexuality grew heated Friday (Nov. 15), as the denomination’s Council of Bishops called for charging retired Bishop Melvin Talbert with presiding at the Oct. 26 wedding of two men, which the church forbids.
(RNS) The United Methodist Church’s highest court issued three rulings this weekend that do not change church policy toward gays and lesbians but allow bishops to accept resolutions expressing dissent from church teachings.
SYRACUSE, N.Y. (RNS) The Rev. Steve Heiss presided at his first same-sex marriage ceremony in a field in upstate New York on July 7, 2002. At the time, gay marriage was not legal in New York, and it remains illegal in the United Methodist Church.
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