John M. Becker

Minister Expels Gay Choir Director; Most Members Leave

Filed By John M. Becker | January 13, 2014 5:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: Adam Fraley, Indiana, Methodists, religion-based bigotry, United Methodist Church

rainbow_bible.jpgHere's your feel-good story for the day, via David Edwards at Raw Story:

A church in Indiana has seen about 80 percent of its members leave after a gay choral director was forced out over his sexual orientation.

Adam Fraley told The Herald Bulletin that he worked for the United Methodist Church in Alexandria for six years and attended with his partner. When a new minister took over the church last year, Fraley said that he resigned because of pressure about his sexual orientation.

United Methodist Church law allows LGBT people to attend church services but says "self-avowed, practicing homosexuals are not to be certified as candidates, ordained as ministers, or appointed to serve."

Many members of the church, who supported Fraley, were at odds over what it meant to "serve."

Indiana Conference of the United Methodist Church Communication Director told The Herald Bulletin that LGBT people were only prohibited from being ordained as ministers and that all other posts could be decided by church leadership.

"Any other leadership positions should be filled at the discretion of the congregation and the minister," Gangler explained.

After he stuck up for Fraley, church member David Steele was also asked to resign from a leadership position that he held. He refused, and was forced out. Steele said that the church's new interim minster, David Mantor, "hijacked" the church. "He is completely against what the church body wants," Steele added.

His wife Nancy said, "[Church members] all embraced [Fraley]. They're upset about the way he was treated."

Kudos to them for voting with their feet and sending a strong message against religion-based bigotry.

Image by David W. Shelton.

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