Check out the latest in lesbian, bisexual and transgender bites!
Methodist Court Ruling a Blow for Openly Lesbian Bishop
(AP) The first openly lesbian bishop in the United Methodist Church can stay on the job for now, but she is subject to a disciplinary review that could lead to her removal, the top church court ruled Friday.
Bishop Karen Oliveto's civil marriage to another woman violates church law that bars clergy who are "self-avowed practicing homosexuals," the Judicial Council said. However, a decision over whether she can remain in the position must come from a separate disciplinary process, the court ruled.
Oliveto was elected last year to lead a Denver-area church region that is part of the Methodist Western Jurisdiction, which has rejected the denomination's position that "the practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching." Within minutes of her election, a challenge was filed by the Oklahoma-based South Central Jurisdiction, leading to Friday's ruling.
The case is the latest chapter in an intensifying fight over LGBT recognition that is fracturing the 12.8 million-member denomination - the third-largest faith group in the U.S. Earlier this week, bishops announced a special 2019 meeting of its top legislative body, or General Conference, expressly to address church law on sexuality and find ways the denomination can avoid schism.
Adventist Pastor Resigns after Coming Out as Bisexual
(SFGN) Pastor Alicia Johnston said her decision to resign from Arizona’s Foothills Community Church of Seventh-day Adventists was because she disagreed with the Church’s teachings on LGBT people, NBC Out reported Tuesday.
Johnston recently came out as bisexual, in a video she posted on Facebook, with the #loveislove.
"I want to break the deadly silence that exists in churches that don't affirm LGBT people for who they are," Johnston said via email to NBC Out. "That silence has to be broken to reach queer people who feel today like I used to feel: ashamed, unwanted and inconvenient."
Johnston said she continues to identify as an Adventist, and hopes her story will encourage LGBT people of faith to know that they are not alone, and Christians, to change their theology surrounding LGBT people.
"Many people have told me that they realize watching the video that I am truly joyful now, and there was always something missing before," she said. "They can see what an important shift this is for me, and they have chosen to be supportive of me and my new ministry instead of angry at the difficulty it has caused them. I am amazed by their love and grace."
Sioux Falls Transgender Woman Asked to Leave Mission
(AP) Dozens have rallied in support of a Sioux Falls transgender woman who said she was told to leave the Union Gospel Mission for wearing a dress.
The Argus Leader reported Isabella Red Cloud went to Union Gospel Mission on April 22 for breakfast, but was told she needed to change out of her dress and into male clothing before being served.
"I was told I could come back when I was dressed appropriately," Red Cloud said.
Red Cloud went live on Facebook following the incident. She returned to the mission and was escorted out again, broadcasting the incident.
"Places like that are for people like me," Red Cloud said. "They're supposed to be there for everybody."
On Saturday, Red Cloud stood wearing the same dress that got her denied breakfast at Union Gospel Mission a week before. About 35 supporters stood before her, carrying signs and flags.