Openly Gay Bishop Elected To United Methodist Church’s Western Jurisdiction In Defiance Of Church Law

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

united-methodist-church-logoA fortnight ago we featured an article reporting that the The Pacific NW Annual Conference voted to not enforce church law proscribing homosexuality. Now, The Western Jurisdiction Conference elected the first openly-lesbian United Methodist Bishop.

The Rev. Karen Oliveto, senior pastor of Glide Memorial Church in San Francisco was elected on the 17th ballot which included The Rev. Frank Wulf, another openly gay candidate.

Such ordinations are in direct contravention to The Book of Discipline which reads as follows:

304.3 Qualifications for Ordination

“While persons set apart by the Church for ordained ministry are subject to all the frailties of the human condition and the pressures of society, they are required to maintain the highest standards of holy living in the world. The practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching. Therefore self-avowed practicing homosexuals are not to be certified as candidates, ordained as ministers, or appointed to serve in The United Methodist Church.

1. “Self-avowed practicing homosexual” is understood to mean that a person openly acknowledges to a bishop, district superintendent, district committee of ordained ministry, board of ordained ministry, or clergy session that the person is a practicing homosexual.

With several Annual Conferences adopting non-conformity to enforcing bans against gay individuals, the election of gay bishops I believe certainly shows evidence of effective inertia toward acceptance of our gay community members

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The Ole Miss Incident: The University is Tested Once Again

Submitted by Charlton Stanley (Otteray Scribe), Guest Blogger

Ole MissThe Laramie Project is a play by Moisés Kaufman and members of the Tectonic Theater Project about the torture-murder of Matthew Shepard, a gay University of Wyoming student in 1998. Mutilated and almost dead, he was found tied to a barbed wire fence just outside Laramie, Wyoming. That fence was the inspiration for the play’s logo. Matthew Shepard died of his injuries shortly after being taken to a local hospital. The murder was called a hate crime, but in 1998 there were few hate crime laws, and there was none in Wyoming.

Shortly after Matthew Shepard was killed, Kaufman and members of the Tectonic Theater Project went to Laramie and interviewed dozens of local people about the murder. The play draws on over 400 hours of interviews with residents of Laramie, as well as company members’ own journal entries and published news reports. The Laramie Project is divided into three acts. Eight actors portray more than sixty characters in a series of short scenes.

The play has been performed all over the US and internationally as well. Venues have included high schools, colleges, and community theaters across the US. As of this writing, The Laramie Project has also been performed at professional playhouses in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand. Not surprisingly, Fred Phelps and his merry band of haters have frequently picketed The Laramie Project.

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