Church appeals decision favoring lesbian pastor

BY Advocate.com Editors

August 23 2002 12:00 AM ET

A decision to dismiss a complaint against a Seattle lesbian minister accused of violating the United Methodist Church's ban on gays being ordained or serving as pastors is being appealed, according to a Wednesday press release from the church's Pacific Northwest Conference Council.

Karen Dammann came out of the closet in February 2001 when asking the Pacific Northwest Annual Conference for another church appointment. She had served as pastor of Seattle's Woodland Park Church until 1999, when she took a leave. After receiving her letter, Methodist bishop Elias Galvan, under church orders, filed a complaint against Dammann. However, a conference investigative committee in July decided to dismiss the complaint.

The Rev. Jim Finkbeiner, who represented the Methodist Church in the case, has filed an appeal with the committee on appeals for the church's western jurisdiction.The request states as grounds for the appeal "grievous errors of church law or administration."

Dammann, who is on family leave from active ministry, continues in good standing with the church.

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