A gay Methodist pastor from western Wisconsin will soon find out her penalty for officiating at a 2009 lesbian wedding. The Rev. Amy DeLong never denied the action, which prompted this week's church trial in Kaukauna. A jury of clergy convicted her yesterday; she was found not guilty of a second charge of being a "self-avowed practicing homosexual." The Methodist term means gays can serve only if they're celibate. DeLong was most likely acquitted because she didn't admit to any intimate details during the trial.
The jury is expected to announce the penalty today. It could range from a suspension to defrocking. Methodist pastors are increasingly defying the ban on marrying gay couples, saying it violates the church's teaching of inclusion. Church officials say their longstanding rules are clear. (Read more United Methodists stories.)