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Gay Blessing Leads to Methodist Charges

Religion IN BRIEF

January 30, 1999|Associated Press

NASHVILLE — United Methodist Church members have filed ecclesiastical charges against one of 95 ministers who jointly performed a blessing ceremony for a lesbian couple Jan. 16.

The Rev. David M. Holmes, a longtime gay rights advocate from Council Bluffs, Iowa, is the first to be charged in regard to the ritual in Sacramento.

United Methodist News Service reported the charges, which were filed with Bishop Charles Jordan of Des Moines. The news service said Sacramento's Bishop Melvin Talbert discussed the situation with his cabinet Jan. 21 but is taking no immediate action against local sponsors and 80 clergy under his jurisdiction.

Charges are based on a ruling last August by the Methodists' highest court that a policy statement against same-sex blessings in the church's Book of Discipline is binding law.

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