Married Lesbian Ordained as Methodist Bishop
The Western Jurisdiction of the United Methodist Church consecrated a married lesbian bishop in a move that could split the denomination. Greater Northwest Episcopal Area Bishop Grant Hagiya claims the Holy Spirit led the move that the church bylaws expressly forbid.
"We understand there may be some political implications, but in our mind this was the best person. It was not a question of (sexual) orientation, it was a question of who was the best spiritual leader. The body spoke and said 'Yes, this is the one.' " Hagiya said.
Yet the denomination's Book of Discipline cites "self-avowed practicing homosexuals are not to be certified as candidates, ordained as ministers, or appointed to serve in The United Methodist Church."
"The Wesleyan Covenant Association (a group of evangelical and conservative pastors) is meeting in Chicago in the fall to decide the future and if they'll form a brand-new denomination," someone close to the matter who asked not to be identified told Charisma News. "The judicial Council of the Methodist Church has to invalidate her election or risk losing the evangelicals."
The Western Jurisdiction consecrated lesbian Karen Phyllis Oliveto as their newest bishop. Oliveto, who is married to Robin Ridenour, pastors Glide Church in San Francisco.