Methodist pastor, the Rev. Amy DeLong, has been convicted of marrying same sex partners according to the Huffington Post:
Methodist pastors who have increasingly defied a church ban on marrying gays were dealt a setback Wednesday when a colleague was found guilty in a church trial of marrying a lesbian couple in 2009.
A 13-person jury of clergy peers unanimously convicted The Rev. Amy DeLong of Osceola. The jury found the 44-year-old not guilty of a second charge of being a “self-avowed practicing homosexual.” That vote was 12-1.
After the verdicts were announced Wednesday afternoon, church officials began hearing a second round of testimony to help jurors recommend a penalty that could range from suspension to defrocking. At least five DeLong supporters were scheduled to testify.
While other mainline Protestant denominations have become more accepting of openly gay leaders, the Methodist church has been reluctant to join them. Its “rulebook,” called the Book of Discipline, forbids clergy to officiate at same-sex marriages, under penalty of discipline or dismissal from the church.
The chances of reversing the rule are far from certain, however. Rule changes must be approved by delegates at the church’s General Conference, held every four years. Because a growing number of delegates come from Africa, the Philippines and other theologically conservative regions, voting patterns reflect strong resistance to change.