MILWAUKEE (AP) — A growing number of pastors in the United Methodist Church say they're no longer willing to obey a rule banning them from officiating same-sex marriages.
In some parts of the U.S., Methodist pastors have already been marrying same-sex couples or conducting blessing ceremonies for same-sex unions with little fanfare and no backlash from the denomination.
While trials of pastors who conduct same-gender ceremonies have occurred only once every several years, the threat is indeed real.
The Rev. Amy DeLong of Osceola in western Wisconsin faces a three-day trial starting Tuesday on two charges: violating a church prohibition on the ordination of "self-avowed practicing homosexuals" and marrying a lesbian couple.
An executive with an advocacy group for conservative mainline Protestants says he doesn't expect the provision would be changed anytime soon.
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