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The Use and Abuse of the Law: Public Opinion and United Methodist Church Trials of Ministers Performing Same-Sex Union Ceremonies

Abstract

Law in the United Methodist Church (UMC) is a product of democracy, written by elected delegates to a legislative body, recorded in a book entitled The Book of Discipline of the United Methodist Church. As “a Book of Law,” the Book of Discipline is “the only official and authoritative Book of Law of The Methodist Church,” according to the Methodist Church's Judicial Council in a landmark 1953 ruling. Despite this declaration, the Judicial Council had no idea in 1953 that it had addressed a question that in 20 years would divide not just the Methodists, but Americans and American Christians generally. In the last 30 years of the twentieth century, controversies over homosexuality led American Christians into debates over the role law should play in their churches, while Americans as a whole debated the role churches should play in their law. United Methodist conservatives discovered that by rallying populist majorities to rewrite church law, they could then use church trials to roll back what they saw as excesses from the 1960s still plaguing American society. Writing any law is necessarily a political process, but in the UMC, church trials became political battlegrounds as well, contests to determine if rank-and-file clergy approved church rules against anything resembling a same-sex marriage.

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Corresponding author
cwaldrep@sfsu.edu
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1. In Re “Is the Discipline of the Methodist Church a Book of Law?” Decision 96, United Methodist Judicial Council, 1953, http://archives.umc.org/interior_judicial.asp?mid=263&JDID=180&JDMOD=VWD&SN=1&EN=100. The Methodists' Book of Discipline goes back to the eighteenth century when John Wesley collected a body of material he called the “Large Minutes.” In 1744, the Minutes asked and answered such questions as “What is faith?” and “How many circuits are there now?” In 1792, the title became The Doctrines and Discipline of the Methodist Episcopal Church in America. Frank Thomas Edward, Polity, Practice and the Mission of the United Methodist Church (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2006), 4647.

2. Hankins Barry, Uneasy in Babylon: Southern Baptist Conservatives (Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2002), 445, 226; Wilcox Clyde, God's Warriors: The Christian Right in Twentieth Century America (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1992), 222–24; Leonard Bill J., Baptists in America (New York: Columbia University Press, 2005), 239–40; Stricklin David, A Genealogy of Dissent: Southern Baptist Protest in the Twentieth Century (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1999), 48; and Luhr Eileen, Witnessing Suburbia: Conservatives and Christian Youth Culture (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2009), 1233.

3. Numerous scholars have used Anita Bryant, Jerry Falwell, and other individuals to explain the rise of the Religious Right. See, especially, Sandbrook Dominic, Mad as Hell: The Crisis of the 1970s and the Rise of the Populist Right (New York: Knopf, 2011), 344–60; Deaderick Sam and Turner Tamara, Gay Resistance: The Hidden History (Seattle: Red Letter Press, 1997), 7; Lienesch Michael, Redeeming America: Piety and Politics in the New Christian Right (Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1993), 5284; Kalman Laura, Right Star Rising: A New Politics, 1974–1980 (New York: Norton, 2010), 257–58; Fetner Tina, How the Religious Right Shaped Lesbian and Gay Activism (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. 2008), 15119; Wilcox Clyde, Onward Christian Soldiers? The Religious Right in American Politics, 2nd ed. (Boulder: Westview Press, 2000), 35; Harding Susan Friend, The Book of Jerry Falwell: Fundamentalist Language and Politics (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2000); and Diamond Sara, Spiritual Warfare: The Politics of the Christian Right (Boston: South End Press, 1989). Students of gay and lesbian history identify continuous resistance. See Chauncey George, Why Marriage? The History Shaping Today's Debate Over Gay Equality (New York: Basic Books, 2004), 3841; Hekma Gert, Oosterhuis Harry, and Steakley James, eds. Gay Men and the Sexual History of the Political Left (New York: Haworth Press, 1995); and D'Emilio John, Sexual Politics, Sexual Communities: The Making of a Homosexual Minority in the United States, 1940–1970, 2d ed., (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998). Scholars of religion point to cultural change, the suburbanization of conservatism, and the Christianization of popular culture. See, especially, Luhr, Witnessing Suburbia, but also Hart Darryl G., That Old-Time Religion in Modern America: Evangelical Protestantism in the Twentieth Century (Chicago: Ivan R. Dee, 2002).

4. Canaday Margot, The Straight State: Sexuality and Citizenship in Twentieth-Century America (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2009); and Darnton Robert, Poetry and the Police: Communication Networks in Eighteenth-Century Paris (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2010), 139.

5. Pamela ____, Walnut Creek United Methodist Church Worship Response Form, June 2, 1992, Church Files, Walnut Creek United Methodist Church Office, Walnut Creek, California. “Pamela's” full name is on the form but to respect her privacy I am not including it here.

6. Interview with Douglas McPherson, February 7, 2011, digital recording, transcript; and Kuyper Robert L., Crisis in Ministry: A Wesleyan Response to the Gay Rights Movement (Anderson, Indiana: Bristol House, 1999), 213, 216.

7. Kelley Dean, Why Conservative Churches are Growing (New York: Harper and Row, 1972), 6, 9; and Frank, Polity, Practice and the Mission of the United Methodist Church, 25. Jenkins Philip, The Next Christendom: The Coming of Global Christianity, rev. ed. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2007), 122–24, 132, argues that America remains culturally Christian with only “limited” religious diversity.

8. Jenkins, The Next Christendom, 232–34.

9. Fannin Bishop Robert E., “The Church – The Vow – the Witness,” in Staying the Course: Supporting the Church's Position on Homosexuality, ed. Dunnam Maxie D. and Malony H. Newton (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2003), 35.

10. The opponents of discrimination, in contrast, describe the Book of Discipline, their church law, as a confusing and contradictory document, “a living stream of personalities and relationships, crises and changes, ways of working and avenues for organizing, prejudices, assumptions, values, and beliefs.” Frank, Polity, Practice and the Mission of the United Methodist Church, 18.

11. Thomas C. Oden, “The Classic Christian Exegesis on Romans 1:22–28,” in Dunnam and Malony, Staying the Course, 86.

12. Jack Chambers, “Down the Wrong Road,” Good News, March/April, 43, quoted in Karen Phyllis Oliveto, “Movements of Reform and Movements of Resistance: Homosexuality and the United Methodist Church, a Case Study,” (PhD diss., Drew University, 2002), 137–38.

13. Green John C. and Guth James L., “United Methodists and American Culture: A Statistical Portrait,” in The People(s) Called Methodist: Forms and Reforms of their Life, ed. Lawrence William B., Campbell Dennis M., and Richey Russell (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1998); Defense of Marriage Act, Public Law No. 104–199, 110 Stat. 2419; Tipton Steven M., Public Pulpits: Methodists and the Mainline Churches in the Moral Argument of Public Life (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2007), 7075; Moon Dawne, God, Sex and Politics: Homosexuality and Everyday Theologies (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2004); and Gordon Sarah Barringer, The Spirit of the Law: Religious Voices and the Constitution in Modern America (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2010), 169297. I thank Sally Gordon for kindly sharing this with me before publication.

14. American Protestants tried their members in church courts for such sins as dancing, gambling, lying, going to another church, fighting, slander, Sabbath breaking, sexual offenses, liquor violations, or going to law. Ross Richard J., “Puritan Godly Discipline in Comparative Perspective: Legal Pluralism and the Sources of ‘Intensity,’American Historical Review 113 (2008): 9751002; Najar Monica, “Citizens of the Church: Baptist Churches and the Construction of Civil Order in the Upper South, 1765–1815,” American Baptist Quarterly 16 (1997): 206–18; Cummins Light Townsend, “Church Courts, Marriage Breakdown, and Separation in Spanish Louisiana, West Florida, and Texas,” Journal of Texas Catholic History and Culture 4 (1993): 97114; Ericson Kathryn, “Triple Jeopardy: The ‘Muus v. Muus’ Case in Three Forums,” Minnesota History 50 (1987): 298308; Boyd Lois A., “Shall Women Speak? Confrontation in the Church, 1876,” Journal of Presbyterian History 56 (1978): 271296; Kuykendall John W., “Martyr to the Seventh Commandment: John R. McDowellJournal of Presbyterian History 50 (1972): 288305; and Waldrep Christopher, “'So Much Sin': The Decline of Religious Discipline and the ‘Tidal Wave of Crime’,” Journal of Social History 23 (1990): 535–52.

15. Interview with Bishop Jack Tuell, April 17, 2010, digital recording, notes; and telephone interview with Bishop Dan Solomon, January 25, 2011, notes.

16. Joseph Mitchell, “Ministers Charged with Performing ‘Ceremonies that Celebrate Homosexual Unions,’ A Parallel Situation,” folder 1, box 20, United Methodist Church Judicial Council Records, General Commission on Archives and History, Drew University, Madison, New Jersey. Interview with Bishop Jack Tuell, April 17, 2010, digital recording, notes; Schmidt Frederick W.Jr., A Still Small Voice: Women, Ordination, and the Church (Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 1995), 5354; telephone interview with Bishop Dan Solomon, January 25, 2011, notes; and Bishop Dan Solomon email to author, February 7, 2011.

17. Northern California Methodists had long been known for being more liberal than those in the rest of the country. In 1943, California's leading Methodist clergy had questioned the wisdom of placing American-born Japanese in internment camps. California Methodists denounced McCarthyism before it even took the name “McCarthyism.” In 1948, they warned against an erosion of liberties based on “the creation of an artificial emergency.” Arthur H. Wallace, ed., Journal of the Fifth Annual Session of the California Conference of the Methodist Church (1943), 482; Arthur H. Wallace, ed., Journal of the Sixth Annual Session of the California Conference of the Methodist Church (1944), 66–67; Arthur H. Wallace, ed., Journal of the Seventh Annual Session of the California Conference of the Methodist Church (1945), 238–39; Donald H. Baldwin, ed., Journal and Year Book: Tenth Session, the California Annual Conference of the Methodist Church (1948), 131; Donald H. Baldwin, Journal and Year Book: Second Session; the California Nevada Annual Conference of the Methodist Church (California Annual Conference of the Methodist Church, San Francisco 1950), 122–23 and; interview with Barbara Hall, February 8, 2009, digital recording, transcript.

18. John V. Moore, “The Gift of Law,” sermon, May 5, 1963, John V. Moore Papers, California Nevada Annual Conference Archives, United Methodist Church, Pacific School of Religion, Berkeley, California (hereafter Moore Papers). Moore, “Autobiography,” Moore Papers; Moore, “Making San Francisco Home,” sermon, January 12, 1964, Moore Papers. The Methodists had nineteen churches in San Francisco when Moore arrived. Membership ranged from 75 to 875 for a total of 5685. “Statistical Report,” Journal and Yearbooks, 115 thSession, California–Nevada Annual Conference of the Methodist Church (California Annual Conference of the Methodist Church San Francisco, 1963), 218.

19. “Young Adult Ministry,” Documents, National Young Adult Project, 1964–1965, Records of the General Board of Discipleship, Methodist Collection, Drew University, Madison, New Jersey.

20. Interview with Robert Theodore (Ted) McIlvenna, December 4, 2009, digital recording, transcript. For McIlvenna in the secondary literature, see Sides Josh, Erotic City: Sexual Revolutions and the Making of Modern San Francisco (New York: Oxford University Press, 2009), 99; D'Emilio, Sexual Politics, Sexual Communities,192–93; Boyd Nan Alamilla, Wide Open Town: A History of Queer San Francisco to 1965 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2005), 232; Stryker Susan and Buskirk Jim Van, Gay by the Bay: A History of Queer Culture in the San Francisco Bay Area (San Francisco: Chronicle, 1996), 4041; Marcus Eric, Making History: The Struggle for Gay and Lesbian Equal Rights (New York: HarperCollins, 1992), 140, 152; Sears James T., Behind the Mask of the Mattachine: The Hal Call Chronicles and the Early Movement for Homosexual Emancipation (New York: Harrington Park, 2006), 285–93; Martin Del, “Phyllis Lyon,” in Before Stonewall: Activists for Gay and Lesbian Rights in Historical Context, ed. Bullough Vern L. (New York: Harrington Park, 2002), 171–76; and Mixner David and Bailey Dennis, Brave Journeys: Profiles in Gay and Lesbian Courage (New York: Bantam Books, 2000), 35, 36, 40.

21. D'Emilio, Sexual Politics, Sexual Communities, 192.

22. Interview with Robert Theodore (Ted) McIlvenna, December 4, 2009, digital recording, transcript.

23. Moore, “Autobiography,” Moore Papers; interview with Robert Theodore (Ted) McIlvenna, December 4, 2009, digital recording, transcript; D'Emilio, Sexual Politics, Sexual Communities, 192–93; Martin Del and Lyon Phyllis, Lesbian/Woman (San Francisco: Glide Publications, 1972), 3839; Kuhn Donald, The Church and the Homosexual: A Report on a Consultation (San Francisco: Glide Urban Center, 1965); and Lewis E. Durham, Glide Foundation from 1962 through 1967 (San Francisco: Glide Urban Center, n.d.). For Ted McIlvenna's father, see “Robert (Bob) McIlvenna, Memoir,” Journal, Seventh Session of the Oregon–Idaho Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church (Forest Grove: Times–Litho, 1975), 94.

24. McIlvenna Ted and Sutton Laird, Meditations on the Gift of Sexuality (San Francisco: Specific Press, 1977); McIlvenna Ted, Gallo Roe, and Taylor Clark, Sexual Strategies: For Pleasure and Safety (San Francisco: Specific Press, 2003); and interview with Robert Theodore (Ted) McIlvenna, December 4, 2009, digital recording, transcript.

25. Moore, “Autobiography,” Moore Papers; and interview with Robert Theodore (Ted) McIlvenna, December 4, 2009, digital recording, transcript.

26. Keysor Charles W., “Methodism's Silent Minority,” The New Christian Advocate, July 14, 1966, 910; Tipton, Public Pulpits, 107–14; and Oliveto, “Movements of Reform and Movements of Resistance,” 132–33. For Nixon, see “Nixon Declares ‘Silent Majority’ Backs His Speech,” New York Times, November 5, 1969, 1; Phillips Kevin, The Emerging Republican Majority (New Rochelle: Arlington House, 1969); Tom Wicker, “In the Nation: One Way to Bring us Together,” New York Times, September 14, 1969, E13; Bostdorff Denise M., The Presidency and the Rhetoric of Foreign Crisis (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1994), 117–18; Baldano Michael P.Jr., “The Silent Versus the New Majority,” in Richard M. Nixon: Politician, President, Administrator, ed. Friedman Leon and Levantrosser William F. (Westport: Greenwood, 1991), 260–61; Bochin Hal, Richard Nixon: Rhetorical Strategy (Westport: Greenwood, 1990), 6162; and Mason Robert, Richard Nixon and the Quest for a New Majority (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2003), 7172.

27. Tipton, Public Pulpits, 78, 136; Frank Thomas Edward, Polity, Practice, and the Mission of the United Methodist Church, 2006 Edition (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2006); Tuell Jack M., The Organization of the United Methodist Church, 2009–2012 Edition (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2009); The Book of Discipline of the United Methodist Church, 1996 (Nashville: United Methodist Publishing House, 1996), 12; United Methodist Constitution, Section II, Art. IV; Daily Christian Advocate, April 27, 1996, 780; and Egan Patrick J., Persily Nathaniel, and Wallsten Kevin, “Gay Rights,” in Public Opinion and Constitutional Controversy, ed. Persily Nathaniel, Citrin Jack, and Egan Patrick J. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2008), 234–66.

28. Interview with Bishop Melvin Talbert, April 13, 2009, notes.

29. With God, all Things are Possible!MCC Speaking Up 1 (1970): 12.

30. Gordon Sarah Barringer, The Spirit of the Law: Religious Voices and the Constitution in Modern America (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2010), 133–68; Eskridge, “Privacy Jurisprudence and the Apartheid of the Closet,” 771; George Chauncey, Why marriage? : The history shaping today's debate over gay equality (New York, Basic Books, 2004) 89–91; and James Michael McConnell v. Elmer Anderson, et al., 451 F. 2d 193 (8th Cir. 1971).

31. Gordon, Spirit of the Law, 169–297; White Heather Rachelle, “Proclaiming Liberation: The Historical Roots of LGBT Organizing,” Novo Religio 11 (2008): 114; and Earnest A. Smith, “On the Church and the Homosexual,” file Homosexuals and the Church, 1970–1975, Methodist Federation for Social Action, Methodist Collection, Drew University, Madison, New Jersey.

32. Dean Douglas, “Gay Marriage,” MCC Crosscurrents (Fall 1972): 6, 15.

33. Interview with Melvin Talbert, April 13, 2009, digital recording, notes; LeVay Simon, Queer Science: The Use and Abuse of Research into Homosexuality (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1996), 173–74; and Rosenthal David, Genetic Theory and Abnormal behavior (New York: McGraw Hill, 1970), 250–55.

34. “Reaction to the Report of the Social Principles Study Commission,” Minutes, Council of Bishops of the United Methodist Church, Des Moines, Iowa, November 15–18, 1971, Records of the Council of Bishops, Methodist Collection, Drew University, Madison, New Jersey; Tipton, Public Pulpits, 107–14; Interview with Bishop Melvin Talbert, April 13, 2009, notes; and Thomas James S., “The Process of Developing Social Principles,” Engage 4 (1972): 613.

35. Interview with Robert W. Moon, May 19, 2009, digital recording, transcript; First Methodist Church of San Leandro v. Russell C. Horstmann, 48 Cal. 2d 901 (1957); Speiser v. Randall, 357 U.S. 513 (1958); and Tipton, Public Pulpits, 104–6.

36. Interview with Robert W. Moon, May 19, 2009, digital recording, transcript; First Methodist Church of San Leandro v. Russell C. Horstmann, 48 Cal. 2d 901 (1957); and Speiser v. Randall, 357 U.S. 513 (1958).

37. Gail E. Murphy-Goiss, “A Historical and Sociological Analysis of Three Centuries of Methodist Views of the Family,” (PhD diss., Hiff School of Theology, 2002), 137–38.

38. Daily Christian Advocate, April 28, 1972, 706.

39. Ibid.

40. Ibid.

41. John L Schreiber, ed. Journal of the 1972 General Conference of the United Methodist Church 1(1972): 458–59; and Kinsey Alfred C., Pomeroy Wardell B., and Martin Clyde E., Sexual Behavior in the Human Male (Philadelphia: W. B. Saunders Co., 1948), 610–66.

42. Daily Christian Advocate, April 28, 1972, 712. Shipps cited and quoted First Corinthians, Jude, and the first chapter of Romans.

43. Ibid.

44. Thomas C. Oden, “ The Classic Christian Exegesis on Romans 1:22–28,” in Dunnam and Malony, Staying the Course, 86.

45. McNeill John J., The Church and the Homosexual (Kansas City: Sheed Andrews and McMeel, 1976); Doris Malkmus interview with Virginia Mollenkott, September 25, 2004, folder 9, box 4, Virginia Ramey Mollenkott Collection, Manuscript Collection, GTU Archives, Berkeley, California; and Scanzoni Letha and Mollenkott Virginia Ramey, Is the Homosexual my Neighbor: Another Christian View (New York: Harper and Row, 1978).

46. Scanzoni and Mollenkott, Is the Homosexual my Neighbor? 8; Leviticus 19:18; Matthew 19:19, 22:39; Mark 12:31; Luke 10:27; Romans 13:9; Galatians 5:14; James 2:8 (RSV).

47. Scanzoni and Mollenkott, Is the Homosexual my Neighbor? 24.

48. George Foster, “Is the Christian My Neighbor?” Boston Gay Community News September 2, 1978.

49. Judy Weidman, Background Paper for Members of the Staff of the Division of Ordained Ministry in Regard to the Question of Ordination of Homosexuals which has Recently Surfaced as a Public Issue in the Church, April 11, 1975, Homosexuality and the Church, 1974–1975, Records on the General Commission on Christian Unity and Interreligious Concerns, Methodist Collection, Drew University, Madison, New Jersey; Michael to Huntly , September 21, 1978, Personal Correspondence Answered, 1977–1978, Records of Affirmation, ibid.; and Interview with Mark Bowman, August 27, 2009, digital recording, transcript.

50. Tipton, Public Pulpits, 111–14.

51. E. J. Dionne, Jr., “Small Gifts Allow G.O.P. to Outspend Foes in Fall,” New York Times, July 20, 1980, 14; Leslie Bennetts, “Conservatives Join on Social Concerns,” New York Times, July 30, 1980, A1; Kalman Laura, Right Star Rising: A New Politics, 1974–1980 (New York: Norton, 2010), 2426; and Critchlow Donald T., The Conservative Ascendancy: How the GOP Right Made Political History (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2007), 128–31.

52. Dorothy J. Samuels, “A Coming Threat to Constitutional Values,” New York Times, November 23, 1980, E21.

53. Interview with Douglas McPherson, February 7, 2011, digital recording, transcript; and interview with Barbara Hall, February 8, 2009, digital recording, transcript.

54. Grmek Mirko D., History of AIDS: Emergence and Origin of a Modern Pandemic (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1990); and NGTF Questionnaire, not dated, carton 244, Alan MacGregor Cranston Papers, Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley. Despite the seeming resurgence of conservatism, there were troubling signs for traditionalists at the end of the 1980s. The Census Bureau and some courts had begun to redefine the meaning of family away from the traditional male/female adults with children model. Philip S. Gutis, “What is a Family? Traditional Limits are Being Redrawn,” New York Times, August 31, 1989, C1; and Miguel Braschi v. Stahl Associates Company, 74 N.Y.2d 201 (1989). Countries outside the United States had begun liberalizing their policies toward same-sex couples. Frank David John and McEneaney Elizabeth H., “The Individualization of Society and the Liberalization of State Policies on Same-Sex Sexual Relations, 1984–1995,” Social Forces 77 (1999): 911–44.

55. Peter Steinfels, “Methodists Vote to Retain Policy Condemning Homosexual Behavior,” New York Times, May 3, 1988, A22; Bishop Warns Against Gay Rites of Marriage,” United Methodist Newscope: The National Weekly Newsletter for United Methodist Leaders 20 (August 28, 1992):3; and Thomas S. McAnally, “Michigan Bishop Says Clergy Can't Bless Same-Sex Couples” November 2, 1992.

56. Interview with Mark Bowman, August 27, 2009, digital recording, transcript; Tipton, Public Pulpits, 110–12; Freire Paulo, Pedagogy of the Oppressed, trans. Ramos Myra Bergman, (New York: Seabury Press, 1970); Gustavo Gutiérrez, Teología de la liberación : Perspectivas (Salamanca : Ediciones Sígueme, 1972); Pottenger John, The Political Theory of Liberation Theology: Toward a Reconvergence of Social Values and Social Science (Albany: State University of New York, 1989), 138–39; Edwards George, Gay/Liberation: A Biblical Perspective (New York: Pilgrim Press, 1984); Scroggs Robin, The New Testament and Homosexuality (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1983); Glaser Chris, Uncommon Calling: A Gay Christian's Struggle to Serve the Church (New York: Harper and Row: 1988); and Radner Ephraim, “From ‘Liberation’ to ‘Exile’: A New Image for Church Mission,” Christian Century (October 18, 1989): 931–94.

57. Interview with Mark Bowman, August 27, 2009, digital recording, transcript; and Oliveto, “Movements of Reform and Movements of Resistance,” 104–30.

58. Delegate Merlin Ackerson of Iowa, speaking on Majority Report on Issue of Homosexuality, Daily Christian Advocate April 26, 1996, 681.

59. Melvin R. Woodworth, “The Solemnization of Non-Marital Intimate Relationships,” (diss., San Francisco Theological Seminary, 1989), 182; Interview with Melvin Woodworth, July 20, 2010, digital recording, notes; and Douglas Dean, “Gay Marriage,” MCC Crosscurrents (Fall 1972): 6, 15.

60. Interview with Kathy McCallie, February 4, 2010, digital recording, transcript.

61. Interview with Leslie Penrose, February 16, 2011, digital recording, transcript; Bishop Dan Solomon email to author, February 21, 2011; and Penrose Leslie, “The Integrity of Hope,” in Voices from the Heartland, ed. Taylor Carolyn Anne, Dial-Driver Emily, Burrage Carole, and Emmons-Featherston Sally (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2007), 6472.

62. The Cabinet, Wisconsin Conference UMC, May 24, 1990, Holy Union, Methodist Federation for Social Action, Methodist Collection, Drew University, Madison, New Jersey.

63. Interview with Robert Kuyper, January 10, 2010, digital recording, transcript; Kuyper, Crisis in Ministry; and Oliveto, “Movements of Reform and Movements of Resistance,” 131–40.

64. Davies Bob and Rentzel Lori, Coming Out of Homosexuality: New Freedom for Men and Women (Downers Grove: Intervarsity Press, 1993), 38; and interview with Robert Kuyper, January 10, 2010, digital recording, transcript.

65. Garnhart Thomas O., “Why We Celebrate Holy UnionsVision 1990: A Publication of University UMC (Winter 1990): 1.

66. Thomas O. Garnhart, “Why We Celebrate Holy Unions,” 1; and Lynda Richardson, “Lesbian Couple Wed in District Church” Washington Post, June 2, 1990.

67. “Bishop Warns Against Gay Rites of Marriage,” United Methodist Newscope: The National Weekly Newsletter for United Methodist Leaders 20 (August 28, 1992):3; Jean Caffey Lyles, “Bishop to Indiana Clergy: No More Gay Union Liturgies,” August 24, 1992, United Methodist News Service; “An Understanding of Lesbian/gay Holy Unions,” Dumbarton UMC, Washington DC, May 3, 1990, Holy Union file, Records of the Methodist Federation for Social Action, United Methodist Archives, Drew University, Madison, New Jersey; David Crumm, “The Minister, the Media, and the Message,” in The Minister, the Media, and the Message: Media Coverage of the March 1999 Trial of the Rev. Gregory Dell: Report on the Conference, April 26, 1999 (Evanston: Garrett–Evangelical Theological Seminar and the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University,1999), 13; and Callan James Brady, Pioneer Priest: The Story of Mary Ramerman and Spiritus Christi Church (Rochester: Spiritus Publications, 2007), 100101.

68. Tipton, Public Pulpits, 202–3; Seth Dowland, “Defending Manhood: Gender, Social Order, and the Rise of the Christian Right in the South, 1965–1995,” (PhD diss., Duke University, 2007); Richard L. Berke, “Asked to Place Blame, Americans in Surveys Chose All of the Above,” New York Times, November 10, 1994 ; Clinton Bill, My Life (New York: Knopf, 2004), 486; Harris John F., The Survivor: Bill Clinton in the White House (New York: Random House, 2005), 1618; Hamilton Nigel, Bill Clinton: Mastering the Presidency (New York: Public Affairs, 2007), 47, 403; Stonecash Jeffrey M. and Mariani Mack D., “Republican Gains in the House in the 1994 Election: Class Polarization in American Politics,” Political Science Quarterly 115 (2000): 93113; Rozell Mark J. and Wilcox Clyde, eds., God at the Grassroots: The Christian Right in the 1994 Elections (Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield, 1995); and Marley David John, “Ronald Reagan and the Splintering of the Christian Right,” Journal of Church & State 48 (2006): 851–68.

69. Book of Discipline (1996), ¶65.

70. Gregory R. Dell, speaking on Pastor Tells of Conducting Same Gender Covenant Services, Daily Christian Advocate, April 27, 1996, 780–81.

71. Delegate Philip Wogaman of Baltimore–Washington speaking on Explanation of Nature of Social Principles,” Daily Christian Advocate, April 27, 2009, 779.

72. For former homosexuals, see Book of Discipline (1996) , 94; for the ban on homosexual unions, see ibid., 87. For clergy independence in 1916, see Murphy-Goiss, “A Historical and Sociological Analysis of Three Centuries of Methodist Views of the Family,” 138.

73. Interview with Elaine O'Rourke, January 6, 2010, digital recording, transcript.

74. Interview with Kathy McCallie, February 4, 2010, digital recording, transcript; interview with Douglas McPherson, February 7, 2011, digital recording, transcript; interview with Leslie Penrose, February 16, 2011, digital recording, notes; Pat Gilliland, “Pastor to Leave Denomination,” Daily Oklahoman, April 1997; and Kathy McCallie, “Holy Unions,” October 21, 1996, Kathy McCallie Papers.

75. Leslie Penrose, “Reflections on Our Life Together as the Community of Hope,” June 18, 1997, memorandum to COH Advisory Committee, Penrose Personal Papers, Tulsa, Oklahoma; Leslie Penrose, “Reflections on Our Life Together as the Community of Hope,” February 12, 1998, Penrose memorandum to COH Advisory Committee, Penrose Personal Papers, Tulsa, Oklahoma; interview with Douglas McPherson, February 7, 2011, digital recording, transcript; and interview with Leslie Penrose, February 16, 2011, digital recording, transcript.

76. Jimmy Creech, “Response to the Judicial Charge by Jimmy Creech, Senior Pastor First United Methodist Church, Omaha, Nebraska, January 26, 1998,” folder 1, box 20, United Methodist Church Judicial Council Records, General Commission on Archives and History, Drew University, Madison, New Jersey.

77. Ibid; Jimmy Creech interviewed by Mel White in The Trials of Jimmy Creech, produced and directed by Mel White, Soulforce Production, 1998, videocassette; Jimmy Creech testimony, transcript of proceedings, Nebraska United Methodist Conference v. Reverend Jimmy Creech, United Methodist Judicial Council Records, General Commission on Archives and History, Drew University, Madison, New Jersey.

78. Allen O. Morris, “The Church in Bondage: Appendix O, Case Study: The First United Methodist Church in Omaha, Nebraska,” http://www.cmpage.org/bondage/appendixo.html

79. Nebraska United Methodist Conference v. Reverend Jimmy Creech, Transcript of Jury Selection, Michael D. McClellan law offices, Omaha; and Bishop Leroy C. Hodapp, “Reflections on the Trial of Jimmy Creech,” United Methodist Church Judicial Council Box 21 stack location 2207-3-7 File 2207-3-7:01 Correspondence Creech folder 1, General Commission on Archives and History, Drew University, Madison, New Jersey.

80. Bishop Leroy C. Hodapp, “Reflections on the Trial of Jimmy Creech,” United Methodist Church Judicial Council Box 21 stack location 2207-3-7 File 2207-3-7:01 Correspondence Creech folder 1, General Commission on Archives and History, Drew University, Madison, New Jersey.

81. William Jenks testimony, transcript of proceedings, Nebraska United Methodist Conference v. Reverend Jimmy Creech, United Methodist Judicial Council Records, General Commission on Archives and History, Drew University, Madison, New Jersey.

82. The Reverend Dr. Douglas Williamson, Opening Statement, Nebraska United Methodist Conference v. Reverend Jimmy Creech, Transcript of Jury Selection, Michael D. McClellan law offices, Omaha.

83. Jimmy Creech testimony, transcript of proceedings, Nebraska United Methodist Conference v. Reverend Jimmy Creech, United Methodist Judicial Council Records, General Commission on Archives and History, Drew University, Madison, New Jersey.

84. Kenneth Hicks testimony, transcript of proceedings, ibid.

85. Roy Reed testimony, transcript of proceedings, ibid.

86. Ibid.

87. Bishop Leroy C. Hodapp, “Reflections on the Trial of Jimmy Creech,” United Methodist Church Judicial Council Box 21 stack location 2207-3-7File 2207-3-7:01 Correspondence Creech folder 1.

88. Steve Johnson, “Methodist Schism Grows Rift,” San Jose Mercury News, May 2, 1998, 1B.

89. Judicial Council Decision No. 833, August 8, 1998.

90. Carolyn Smith to the College of Bishops of the South Central Jurisdiction, June 15, 1998, folder 1, docket material, Creech, box 20, United Methodist Church Judicial Council Records, General Commission on Archives and History, Drew University, Madison, New Jersey.

91. Louis Victor Priebe to Judicial Council, June 19, 1998, folder 1, docket material, Creech, box 20, United Methodist Church Judicial Council Records, General Commission on Archives and History, Drew University, Madison, New Jersey.

92. Members First United Church UMC of Tishomingo, Oklahoma, “Judgment and Tolerance,” May 31, 1998, folder 1, docket material, Creech, box 20, United Methodist Church Judicial Council Records, General Commission on Archives and History, Drew University, Madison, New Jersey.

93. Ibid.

94. South Georgia Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church, “A Brief: Submitted to the Judicial Council of the United Methodist Church,” June 22, 1998, folder 1, docket material, Creech, box 20, United Methodist Church Judicial Council Records, General Commission on Archives and History, Drew University, Madison, New Jersey.

95. The Reverend David O'Dell, A Brief Concerning Par. 65 of the 1996 Discipline, June 11, 1998, folder 1, docket material, Creech, box 20, United Methodist Church Judicial Council Records, General Commission on Archives and History, Drew University, Madison, New Jersey.

96. In Re: “Is the Discipline of The Methodist Church a Book of Law?” Decision 96, Judicial Council Decisions http://archives.umc.org/interior_judicial.asp?mid=263&JDID=180&JDMOD=VWD; and Book of Discipline (1996), ii.

97. Peter F. Milloy, “Brief to the Judicial Council of the United Methodist Church,” June 1998, folder 1, docket material, Creech, box 20, Judicial Council of the United Methodist Church, General Commission on Archives and History, Drew University, Madison, New Jersey.

98. Telephone interview with Bishop Dan Solomon, January 25, 2011, notes; telephone interview with Bishop Dan Solomon, February 3, 2011, notes; Bishop Dan Solomon email to author, February 7, 2011; and Judicial Council Decision No. 833, August 8, 1998.

99. Judicial Council Decision No. 833, August 8, 1998.

100. Interview with Sarah Hubinsky Phelps, January 11, 2010, digital recording and transcript.

101. Interview with Ellie Charlton, May 13, 2009, digital recording and transcript.

102. Interview with Don Fado, April 15, 2009, digital recording, notes; and interview with Alan Jones, August 26, 2009, digital recording.

103. The Reverend Betty Jo Birkhahn-Rommelfanger, chair, Committee on Investigation of the Northern Illinois Annual Conference, “In the Matter of Reverend Gregory R. Dell,” box 3, In All Things Charity Collection, Special Collections Northern Illinois University Library, Dekalb, Illinois; and interview with Gregory Dell, March 24, 2010, digital recording, transcript.

104. Interview with Gregory Dell, March 24, 2010, digital recording, transcript.

105. Joseph Sprague, Judicial complaint, October 12, 1998, box 3, In All Things Charity Collection, Special Collections Northern Illinois University Library, Dekalb, Illinois.

106. Dell email, October 13, 1998, file 4, ibid.

107. Stephen C. Williams, counsel for the church, “Judicial Complaint by the Northern Illinois Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church,” January 30, 1999, ibid.

108. The Reverend Betty Jo Birkhahn-Rommelfanger, chair, Committee on Investigation of the Northern Illinois Annual Conference, “In the Matter of Reverend Gregory R. Dell,” ibid.

109. Bishop George Bashore testimony, Record of Proceedings, re: The Matter of the Reverend Gregory R. Dell, box 3, ibid.

110. The Reverend Larry Pickens, opening statement, ibid.

111. Dr. Thomas Frank Testimony, ibid.

112. Ibid.

113. John McDermott Testimony, Record of Proceedings, re: The Matter of the Reverend Gregory R. Dell, box 3, In All Things Charity Collection, Special Collections Northern Illinois University Library, Dekalb, Illinois.

114. Record of Proceedings, re: The Matter of the Reverend Gregory R. Dell, box 3, In All Things Charity Collection, Special Collections Northern Illinois University Library, Dekalb, Illinois; and interview with Gregory Dell, March 24, 2010, digital recording, transcript.

115. Interview with Bishop Jack Tuell, April 17, 2010, digital recording, notes.

116. Interview with Gregory Dell, March 24, 2010, digital recording, transcript.

117. Don Fado, “The Ugliest Word in the English Language,” October 4, 1998, Don Fado Personal Papers, Sacramento.

118. Interview with Ellie Charlton, May 13, 2009, digital recording, transcript.

119. Interview with Don Fado, April 15, 2009, digital recording, notes.

120. Interview with Elane O'Rourke, January 6, 2010, digital recording, transcript.

121. Interview with Bishop Melvin Talbert, April 13, 2009, notes.

122. Interview with Ellie Charlton, May 13, 2009, digital recording, transcript; and interview with Ardith Allread, September 28, 2009, digital recording, transcript.

123. Interview with Douglas Hayward, February 8, 2009, video recording; and interview with Don Fado, April 15, 2009, digital recording, notes.

124. The Sacramento 68: Statements to the Committee on Investigation (n.p.: 2000).

125. Interview with Don Fado, April 15, 2009, digital recording, notes.

126. The Sacramento 68, 24–26.

127. Ibid., 126.

128. Ibid., 191.

129. Interview with Douglas Hayward, February 8, 2009, video recording.

130. ABC World News, January 16, 1999; “Methodist Mutiny,” Washington Post, June 30, 1999, A30; Rene Sanchez, “At Gay Wedding, Ministers Take a Vow against Church Ban,” Washington Post, January 17, 1999; Ernest Tucker, “84 Methodist Ministers to Conduct Same-Sex Marriage,” Chicago Sun-Times, January 15, 1999, 24; Hallye Jordan, “Celebration of Marriage, Gay Rights Lesbian Pair's Vow of Unity Divides United Methodists,” San Jose Mercury News, January 17, 1999, 3B; Lesbian Union Ceremony Divides Methodist Church,” CNN Sunday, January 17, 1999; Gustav Niebuhr, “68 Clerics Face Judgment over Same-Sex Union,” New York Times, June 11, 1999 ; Chauncey, Why Marriage? 45–47.

131. Don Latlin, “Methodists Divided by Lesbian Union Blessing,” San Francisco Chronicle, January 16, 1999, B1; and Joe Hoover, “Crisis in the United Methodist Church,” The American Night Watch, October 22, 1999, http://www.amnightwatch.com/umcrisis.htm (October 3, 2009).

132. Minutes for the 65C Meeting, Epworth United Methodist Church, February 25, 1999, Don Fado Papers; and interview with Ardith Allread, September 28, 2009, digital recording, transcript.

133. Melvin Talbert to author, August 21, 2009; interview with Alan Jones, August 26, 2009, digital recording; interview with Ardith Allread, September 28, 2009, digital recording, transcript; and interview with Dave Bennett, November 11, 2009, digital recording, transcript.

134. Ardith Allread, David Bennett to Bishop Melvin G. Talbert, March 23, 1999, Don Fado Papers; interview with Ardith Allread, September 28, 2009, digital recording, transcript; and interview with Dave Bennett, November 11, 2009, digital recording, transcript.

135. “Notes of the Preliminary Meeting Held with the Respondents in the January 16, 1999 Holy Union Case, September 1, 1999, Don Fado Papers.

136. Nebraska Annual Conference v. Jimmy Creech, The Church Trial of Reverend Jimmy Creech, United Methodist Church Judicial Council Records, General Commission on Archives and History, Drew University, Madison, New Jersey; and Daniel R. Gangler, “Creech Found Guilty,” Coronet, November 18, 1999, http://www.umaffirm.org/cornews/creech59.html Creech published his statement, see Creech Jimmy, Rise Above the Law: The Appeal to the Jury, the United Methodist Church's Trial of Jimmy Creech (Omaha: Swing Bridge Press, 2000).

137. “Procedures for the Hearing of the Judicial Complaint Relating to the Holy Union Ceremony Held on January 16, 1999 in Sacramento, January 14, 2000, Don Fado Papers.

138. Don Fado to Ron, e-mail, not dated, ibid.

139. Steve Harper, “Acts of Holy Union Viewed in Relation to the Wesleyan Tradition,” ibid.

140. Ronald E. Swisher to Don Fado, February 8, 2000, ibid.

141. John E. Corson, “The Committee on Investigation Hearing, Reflections by John E. Corson,” February 8, 2000, ibid.

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Law and History Review
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