Liberal D.C. pastors torn in response to gay marriage

Conflicting loyalties
In the nation’s capital, it now would be legal for Mary Kay Totty to perform marriages of same-sex couples. But in the United Methodist Church, the denomination that ordained Totty two decades ago, that act could get her defrocked. Totty, 46, said she’s willing to take the risk.

“The institutional church has for so many years oppressed and excluded and harmed our [lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender] sisters and brothers,” Totty said. “We have to say, ‘Enough already. These are people’s lives and loves that we continue to exclude from the fullness of life in the church.’”

Nineteen other current and former United Methodist clergy in this city have signed a statement supporting Totty and Dumbarton United Metho dist Church, the small, liberal congregation that she’s pastored since July. Many others campaigned to legalize gay marriage in Washington. But so far only Totty is willing to put her job on the line.


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