Methodist bishops: Gay clergy ban intact

But Karen Dammann acquitted
The acquittal of a lesbian Methodist pastor charged with violating a church ban on “self-avowed practicing” gay clergy does not change church law, United Methodist bishops have cautioned members as the denomination prepares for its once-every-four-years convention late this month.

The Council of Bishops said the authority of the church’s constitution is “unchanged.” The 17 bishops, issuing a statement on March 25, said that “this one case does not alter the Book of Discipline regarding homosexuality or the qualifications for ministry.” Five days earlier, pastor Karen Dammann was acquitted by a 13-member jury of Washington state clergy despite the fact that in 2001 she wrote to her bishop, Elias Galvan, telling him that she was living in a “partnered, covenanted, homosexual relationship.”


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