4:30 p.m EDT June 22: Verdict in

To the gasps of some in the courtroom, a jury of 13 Wisconsin ordained elders found the Rev. Amy DeLong not guilty of being a “self-avowed practicing homosexual” by a vote of 12 to 1. However, the same jury unanimously found the Rev. DeLong guilty of performing a same-sex union in violation of church law.

Additional coverage will be provided as soon as possible.

United Methodist News Service reporter Heather Hahn and photographer Mike DuBose are covering the trial and will post coverage here as well as on the UMNS Facebook page and Flickr.


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  1. DoctorLingy

    What a shame that our Christian brothers and sisters forbid the natural relationship of two people in love. It is even more shameful to deny clergy the privilege of performing same-sex union services. I doubt that God is pleased with the UMC’s prejudice.
    Rev. David Roberts
    Athens, GA

  2. Stephen


    strong argument

  3. John B. Powers

    This verdict is difficult to understand. Although I understand that it was hard to determine whether “genital contact” has occured, that is not the issue here. The Discipline of the Church doesn’t mention homosexual genital contact. It does, however, bar from the ranks of clergy those who are “self-avowed, practicing homosexuals.” By her own admission, Rev. DeLong is a “self-avowed, practicing homosexual,” and therefore should be removed as an elder in the UMC.
    John Powers
    Mount Carmel, TN

  4. Fysh Phoenix--

    Mark 7:13

  5. Anne Jordan-Baker

    I don’t understand that decision either, John, but I will say that most glbtq people do not refer to themselves as “homosexuals.” It’s considered derogatory. And then, when you have to define that word, it can become hard because it implies sexuality whereas glbtq identity is about attraction rather than sexual practice. At any rate, I am happy for Amy that she somehow was acquitted of that charge.

  6. Pastor1212

    The verdict is an idicator of the open and unrepentant disregard for the Word of God – the Bible. The vedict is also open and unrepentant disregard for the Discipline of the United Methodist Church. In her written statement the accused in so much as all but called the United Methodist Church a bunch of Nazis! She is venomous, hateful, and a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Those who found her not guilty of being a ‘self avowed practicing homosexual’ are just as guilty as the one they have conspired with to usurp church law and hold ‘clergy’ accountable. Next time the Wisconsin clergy judge an adulterer clergy guilty I suppose we can say they are picking and choosing what to call sin.

  7. Anne Jordan-Baker

    Pastor1212, your words are pretty venomous and hateful too. Amy is a person of sacred worth and deserves as much respect as anyone else. Since this was a trial, I am not suprised there was discussion of the definition of the term “homosexual.” She may well have never used that term to describe herself. In the glbtq community, few people refer to themselves with this term as it is considered insulting, a word used by other people toward us in an effort to define us in a negative way that implies we are obsessed with sex. The seeming absurdity of the decision shows what happens when you try to apply an ignorant, absurd law to a real human being: it just doesn’t work.

  8. Phil Wogaman

    Some of the comments miss important points. For example (1) Being in a same gender committed relationship must not be equated with sexual promiscuity–indeed, it is usually just the opposite. (2) Such a relationship is not just about physical sex. Indeed, it is more basically a relationship of mutual caring between two people who have pledged themselves to each other “for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, etc.” (3) While the rule against clergy officiating at same-gender weddings or commitment ceremonies is definitely in the Book of Discipline (see para. 2702(b), there are a whole lot of other things in the Discipline that must also be taken into account–such as pastoral responsibility and the basic underlying doctrine of grace and love which are the foundation of United Methodist belief. (4) John Wesley himself violated church law when he felt it necessary because of his greater commitment to be a servant of God. As an Anglican priest he was under Anglican law to obey his bishop when the bishop ordered him not to preach in his diocese. Wesley’s reply, now celebrated by people in the Methodist tradition, was “the world is my parish.” Wesley also allowed a woman to preach, contrary to the rules, because he discerned the Holy Spirit at work within her. Of course, didn’t our Lord also disobey sabbath rules, etc., when there were good reasons to? (5) Being more flexible in the application of a church law means taking the law seriously and always having good reasons for setting the law aside. In legal language, the presumption of all clergy is that we should obey the particular law. But that should not be made into a legalistic absolute. Sometimes there are good reasons. (6) There are many fine Christians of gay or lesbian orientation in our midst. It is time for us to stop stereotyping and stigmatizing them.

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