Lesbian reinstated; bishop to appeal case

Guilty verdict sustained; sentence thrown out
The United Methodist bishop of Philadelphia plans to appeal the case of a lesbian minister who was reinstated last month after she was initially defrocked for violating a church ban on “self-avowed practicing” gay clergy.

Bishop Marcus Matthews said May 3 that he will appeal to the Judicial Council, the church’s highest court, the reinstatement of Irene “Beth” Stroud. The court will hold its next session in late October. Matthews said he would file within the required 30-day window following the April 29 ruling.

Last December, Stroud was convicted of violating church rules against active gay clergy. A regional appeals court upheld the conviction but tossed out the sentence, citing legal and procedural errors by the lower court.

 

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