Rev. Amy Delong, tried by Methodists for being a lesbian, to preach at Bering Memorial Methodist Church

Rev. Amy DeLong

Paperwork can be the bane of any job. For Rev. Amy Delong a simple annual report catapulted her into the maelstrom of the United Methodist Church’s debate on accepting LGBT people. DeLong visits Houston’s Bering Memorial United Methodist Church (1440 Harold) on Sunday, Feb. 12 to preach at both the 8:30 and 10:50 service.

In 2009 DeLong was approached by two women who wanted to get married. After conducting premarital counseling with the couple Delong agreed to perform the ceremony. As a clergy person, DeLong was required to report on her activities at the end of the year, including any weddings she had performed. She knew that the Methodist Church did not allow same-sex marriage but thought “I don’t know if anybody even reads these.” Boy, was she wrong!

With-in three days she was hauled into the her boss’s (the bishop) office. DeLong’s relationship with her partner Val was well known to her colleagues. “I’ve never had a bishop or a leader in the church or a pastor who didn’t know that I was gay,” says DeLong. “Everyone knows Val.” But the church was determined now to make an example of her, and DeLon’s relationship would now be an issue.

In 2011 DeLong was tried in the church’s court with violating the Methodist “Book of Discipline” by being in a same-sex relationship and by performing a same-sex wedding. During the trial she refused to answer pointed questions about her and her partner’s sex life. “No heterosexual couples are ever asked if they
still engage in genital contact in their marriages,” says DeLong. That refusal left the court with no evidence against her on the first charge.

She was convicted of performing the wedding and suspended from ministry for 20 days. The court also required DeLong to work with a group of ministers to prepare a statement on how to “help resolve issues that harm the clergy covenant, create an advesarial spirit or lead to future trails.” “This sentence is complicated,” says DeLong. “It doesn’t lend itself well to media soundbites. So a lot of folks have been saying to me ‘I can’t tell, is this penalty good?'” DeLong responds with a resounding “Yes!” Saying that she welcomes the opportunity to write, teach and study on a topic dear to her heart.

DeLong recalls that during that initial meeting in the bishop’s office one of the bishop’s assistants referred to her as a “self-avowed practicing homosexual.” To which she responded “Val and I aren’t practicing any more… we are pretty good at it by now.” The assistant laughed. More than anything that is the impression one gets of DeLong: someone with a lot of humor and aplomb who is unwilling to back down from a fight for justice.

After the jump watch a clip of DeLong talking about her experience.

—  admin

Basic rule of campaign management: First, tweet no #harm

If you’re managing someone’s congressional campaign, you probably don’t want to be Tweeting things like this:

Screen Shot 2010-09-13 At 1.16.43 Pm

But that’s exactly what’s happening in Indiana’s 7th congressional district. Head over to Bilerico for the full story:

IN07: Campaign Manager Tweets Anti-Gay Slurs [Bilerico]

Good As You

—  John Wright

Target Won’t Undo its Harm in Minnesota BUT YOU CAN

Over 100,000 people signed our open letter calling on Target to make it right after they donated 0,000 to support a Minnesota candidate with ties to a group that condoned the execution of gays.

As we reported yesterday, Target told us that they won’t be taking ANY corrective action to repair the harm they’ve caused. If that initial donation was a slap in the face, Target has now delivered a punch in the gut.

The stakes are too high in Minnesota to just sit back. The next governor will likely have the opportunity to either sign or veto marriage equality legislation – so HRC will devote 0,000 of our own resources to elect a pro-equality governor and lawmakers in this critical state.

To compete with unlimited amounts of corporate cash, we need your help. Will you help us counter Target’s donation by chipping in to aid that effort?

Donate to the HRC Minnesota PAC now to support marriage equality in these key races.

We expected more from these companies. Target has – and no doubt will continue to have – model employment policies for LGBT people.  We will continue to support those efforts, but our sights are now set on the election. With full marriage equality hanging in the balance in Minnesota, it’s important that we send a message that we will work tirelessly to elect pro-equality candidates.

So with Election Day just over two months away, we’re springing into action in the key state of Minnesota in order to advance marriage equality legislation and boost its supporters. With a donation to the HRC Minnesota PAC, you can help.

Fight for marriage: Contribute today to back our efforts in the critical state of Minnesota.

We all feel the sting of disappointment deeply, but our passion for change and equality runs even deeper.

Prepared and paid for by HRC Minnesota PAC, 1640 Rhode Island Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20036. This publication is not circulated on behalf of any candidate or ballot question.

Human Rights Campaign | HRC Back Story

—  John Wright