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Lesbian Minister Pleads Not Guilty in Church Court

Lesbian Minister Pleads Not Guilty in Church Court

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A lesbian United Methodist minister in Wisconsin pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges that she violated church law by being a "self-avowed practicing homosexual" and performing a same-sex union.

The Reverend Amy DeLong (pictured) does not dispute the facts of the case, but her counsel, the Reverend Scott Campbell, says the evidence does not support the charges, the Green Bay Press-Gazettereports.

DeLong, 44, is being tried by a church court in Kaukauna, Wis. Earlier this week she told a local reporter, "This trial is not about me. It's about the bigger quest for justice and inclusiveness."

The role of gays and lesbians has been a contentious topic within the United Methodist Church for the past several years. The church denounces antigay discrimination, but it allows gay and lesbian clergy to serve only if they are celibate and prohibits them from blessing same-sex unions.

"The church does a good job of saying everybody's welcome and God loves everybody," DeLong told The Post-Crescent of Appleton, Wis., this week. "[But the church] then spends a whole lot of time and energy creating rules to define who's in and who's out."

Read more about DeLong and the case here.

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Trudy Ring

Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.
Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.