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Nation IN BRIEF / NEBRASKA

Pastor Cleared in Gay Unity Rites

March 14, 1998|From Times Wire Reports

A Methodist pastor was found not guilty by a church panel of disobeying church rules for performing a lesbian unity ceremony. Had he been found guilty by the jury of fellow ministers, the Rev. Jimmy Creech could have lost his position as senior pastor of Omaha's largest United Methodist Church and be stripped of his ministerial credentials. The case was the first challenge to United Methodist policy on homosexual marriage, and the jury's decision could shape how the denomination of 9.5 million members interprets rules governing its treatment of gays. Creech will be allowed to return to the pulpit Sunday morning. Jury foreman Grant Story said the vote reflected the difficulty the church has had with the issue.

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