UMC allows transgendered pastor to retain post

The Episcopal Church is not alone in struggling to address the matter of GLBT people and ordained ministry. The United Methodist Church has been trying to figure out what to do about the Rev. Drew Phoenix. Phoenix, previously, was the Rev. Ann Brown, and underwent sexual reassignment surgery a year and a half ago. After his reappointment to continue pastoring his congregation at St. Johns United Methodist Church in Baltimore earlier this year by his bishop, John Schol, several other clergymembers in the Baltimore-Washington conference challenged the decision.

According to the Baltimore Sun:

The highest judicial body of the United Methodist Church announced yesterday that a transgender man can remain pastor of a congregation in Charles Village.

The ruling by the Judicial Council affirms last spring’s decision by Bishop John R. Schol to reappoint the Rev. Drew Phoenix — formerly the Rev. Ann Gordon — to St. John’s United Methodist Church.

Backstory from USA Today shows that there was concern whether the Judicial Council would uphold the decision. Dr. James Holsinger Jr. heads the council; Holsinger is Bush’s appointee for Surgeon General and has stirred up some controversy for his comments describing gay sex as “abnormal and unhealthy.”

A report on the ruling is here. The USA Today story, from two weeks ago, is here.

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