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Minister Fired for Performing Gay Marriages; Rabbis Avoid Issue

United Methodist pastor Rev. Jimmy Creech was fired from his job at First United Methodist Church in Omaha, Nebraska, for performing a lesbian “unity ceremony” last fall.

Many United Methodist church members left Rev. Creech’s congregation, and division and dissension still abounds. Bishop Joel Martinez reportedly told Rev. Creech that he was fired because this unrest prevented him from effectively leading his congregation.

Creech was subjected to a church trial on charges that he defied church rules called “Social Principles” by performing the ceremony. He was acquitted of those charges in March. Those supporting Creech argued that these rules amount to an advisory, not absolute law.

The Methodist Church’s highest judicial body, the international Council of Bishops, issued a statement last week, declaring that it is wrong for pastors to perform same-sex marriages.

In a related story, Judaism’s Reform movement has reaffirmed the right of lesbian and gay people to obtain civil marriages, but has avoided a decision on whether or not these marriages should be sanctified within Jewish tradition. Many speculate that this decision was made to avoid division at the annual Central Conference of American Rabbis convention, scheduled for next month. A committee for the Reform movement wrote up a resolution allowing rabbis to perform gay marriages, but later decided not to vote on the issue.

Feminist News Stories on Same-Sex Marriage

Sources:

AP - May 6, 1998

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