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Methodists seek ruling on gay-pastors law

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TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — United Methodists in the Pacific Northwest have asked the denomination's Judicial Council to rule on what they say are two contradictory passages in church law on appointing gay pastors.

The United Methodist Book of Discipline states that any ordained elder in good standing must be appointed pastor but also forbids the appointment of "self-avowed practicing homosexuals."

The question was presented to the council, which decides church law, after Bishop Elias Galvan suspended a gay and a lesbian pastor June 17 when they each revealed their sexual orientation.

The Rev. Mark Williams and the Rev. Karen Dammann, both of Seattle's Woodland Park United Methodist Church, will no longer be allowed to have pastoral appointments, pending possible review of their cases.