Tell United Methodist bishopReinstate pastor forced out for being gay

Posted: July 20, 2015

Before the Rev. Benjamin Hutchison took over at Cassopolis United Methodist Church, the church was close to closing its doors. But in the two and a half years since he took over, the congregation has quadrupled in size and closed its budget deficit.

Church members in rural Michigan didn't care that their pastor was gay, and he never tried to hide it. But last week a denomination official called him in for a meeting, asked about his long-term partner, and told him he could either resign or be fired.

The ousting of this beloved pastor is sparking outrage from many United Methodists who are opposed to the denomination's official policy prohibiting "self-avowed, practicing homosexuals" from serving as clergy.

Other bishops have made clear that they will no longer enforce unjust anti-gay rules - it's time for the United Methodist bishop of Michigan, Deborah Lieder Kiesey, to overrule the district superintendent and return Hutchison to the pulpit.

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