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Church Trial Starts Tuesday For Openly Gay Pastor

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KAUKAUNA, Wis. (AP) – A religious trial starts Tuesday for an openly gay United Methodist minister who broke church rules.

The Rev. Amy DeLong of Osceola in western Wisconsin has admitted to officiating a 2009 marriage ceremony for a lesbian couple in Menominee, violating church rules.

The 44-year-old is charged with being a “self-avowed practicing homosexual” and “conducting ceremonies which celebrate homosexual unions.”

The jury of 13 will be selected Tuesday at Peace United Methodist Church in Kaukauna from at least 35 pastors from the Wisconsin Conference of the United Methodist Church.

The Appleton Post-Crescent reports she informed church leaders of the wedding in an annual report.

She’s part of a growing number of United Methodist Church pastors who say they won’t obey the rule that prohibits them from officiating same-sex marriages.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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