PITTSBURGH, May 3, 2004 ( – The United Methodist Church’s (UMC) Judicial Council ruled to uphold the church’s stance, namely that “Since the practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching, self-avowed practicing homosexuals are not to be accepted as candidates, ordained as ministers, or appointed to serve in The United Methodist Church,” according to their Book of Discipline. The controversy has surrounded the United Methodist Church’s General Conference this past weekend over the appointment of an openly homosexual woman as pastor of a Seattle church.

Pastor Karen Dammann was acquitted of a “Chargeable Offense,” defined as “practices incompatible with Christian teaching” in the Book of Discipline, by a lower tribunal in Seattle. Although the decision of the UMC’s highest court does not reverse the lower tribunal’s ruling, it does affirm the ability of future councils to discipline persons who are actively involved in homosexuality.  The conference, which occurs every four years, addresses legislative issues within the 8.3-million member congregation, America’s third-largest religious group.

Read the Washington Post coverage of the event:   Read the ruling from the UMC web-site:


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