Lesbian Minister Defrocked

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

A lesbian minister who's been defrocked says she hasn't decided whether to appeal.

The United Methodist Church defrocked the Reverend Irene Elizabeth Stroud for violating the denomination's ban on actively gay clergy. It's the first such decision by the church in 17 years.

A 13-member jury made up of Methodist clergy convicted Stroud on the second day of her church trial in Pughtown, Pennsylvania. It then voted to defrock her.

The last time the denomination convicted an openly gay cleric was in 1987, when a New Hampshire church court defrocked the Reverend Rose Mary Denman.

Last March, a Methodist court in Washington state acquitted the Reverend Karen Dammann, citing an ambiguity in church law that the Methodist Supreme Court has since eliminated.

Stroud says she's saddened by Friday’s verdict.

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