MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Wisconsin pastor could lose her job after she took a stand on the issue of gay marriage.

The Rev. Amy Delong will face trial within the United Methodist Church later this month.

“Certainly there is fear. I’ll be nervous when the trial comes,” DeLong said.

DeLong has served the United Methodist church for 14 years, knowing full-well her love life could cost her her job.

“I fell in love with my partner and United Methodist at the same time,” DeLong said.

It’s a decision, however, she made in 2009 that has got her in trouble. She oversaw the marriage of a gay couple, which is against the rules.

“No way was I going to categorically reject them. I was going to treat them like other couples I’d married,” DeLong said.

Church leaders not only decided to bring her to trial for the marriage, but also because she is gay.

“I see these laws in church to be completely biased, discriminatory,” DeLong said.

While DeLong is fighting for her job in Wisconsin, across the border in Minnesota, dozens of United Methodist clergy are also pledging to follow in DeLong’s footsteps.

“I’m saying personally, I can no longer participate in what I feel is discriminatory,” said Pastor Bruce Robbins, of the Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church.

Robbins saw an opportunity for change at the Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. Since Wednesday, 70 of the roughly 300 clergy signed a statement saying they would marry gay couples.

“It’s a challenge to the system,” Robbins said.

Not all clergy, however, agree with Robbins.

“The difficulty we have with this action is it intentionally breaking clergy covenant,” said Pastor Phil Strom, of the Elk River United Methodist Church.

Signing the pledge comes with no risk from the church.

“People do have freedom of speech and they have a right to disagree with the rules of their church,” said the Rev. Victoria Rebeck, Director of Communication for the Minnesota United Methodist Conference.

However, if a clergy member follows through with the pledge, they face an investigation and possibly a trial.

“There’s a range of possible penalties,” Rebeck said.

It is a risk that some are willing to take if it ultimately means breaking tradition.

“Change will only come when people of power will risk some of that,” DeLong said.

The trial will operate much like a court trial, only it will be held in a church. The jury will be made up of clergy members who will decide the verdict and the punishment.

The United Methodist Church said it is treating it like a personnel issue and can’t make certain comments, but have offered this fact sheet.

Comments (48)
  1. Ruth says:

    These so called “Christians” who would deny a gay clergy from marrying other gay couples and/or having a gay relationship are NOT Christians at all. What two consenting adults do is no one’s business, especially the church or government. This trial is a complete waste of taxpayer money.

    1. j says:

      You are an idiot churches do not get tax money. Clergy members are paid by the church (not taxes) so any decision she makes on breaking rules does involve the church.

    2. M says:

      Not a state trial. it is a church trial. No tax dollars used.

    3. russell says:

      Wow Ruth. It certainly shows in your comment that you do not take the Holy Bible seriously. When you say “What two consenting adults do is no one’s business, especially the church” you are also saying that the Holy Scriptures are irrelevant. Please do not speak on behalf of or of Christians as a whole because you certainly do not speak for sold-out truth believing followers of Lord Jesus. The Bible shapes my faith and my life is defined by my faith. Please do your research before lashing out.

  2. Marie says:

    Each church should have the right to decide if they will or will not marry same sex couples. More power to those ministers who are brave enough to stand up for what is right and fair. Within each church this will have to be decided. The government however should treat all citizens equally. The idea that same sex couples getting legally married will i some way threaten my 32 year marriage is too ridiculous for words. Love and commitment are love and commitment. The separation of church and state is just that a separation. Whether or not churches decide to marry same sex couples the government should not discriminate against it’s citizens.

  3. Grammar Corrector says:

    I need a job, you need a proofreader. Let’s connect.

    MAY, not MANY!

    1. Dakotahgeo says:

      Thank you, Grammar Corrector. It’s nice to know there are a few of us left to keep users of the English language from looking like complete boors! If one wants to be taken seriously, use the language seriously!

  4. JB says:

    The day gay marriage is approved, is the day I throw my Bible away and walk away from religion altogether! Surely, there were gays in our Lords day, if he had wanted to include them into the rite of marriage hed have done so and referenced in his book for all to understand. Mans laws do not take precedence over the laws of God. Im no saint, but I know when my day comes Ill be answering for my sins, as will all believers,and non-believers

    1. Willow says:

      You are why I am not a Christian.

      Literal Bible-Believers who wish everyone but their brand of religious belief to be either tortured eternally, or just plain murdered, depending on your version of Hell Doctrine, are delusional.

      1. pretzeldude says:

        Willow, why do you let people influence your decision to be a Christian or not. Being a Christian is between you and God. Man doesn’t have a thing to do with that. You need to pray and accept Jesus into your heart and let Jesus guide you and not man. Man will fail you everytime. Proof of that is in your own statement “You are why I am not a Christian”. Jesus will never fail you.
        Please for your sake pray and ask Jesus into your heart.
        I’ll be praying for you all the way from Florida. God can hear prayers from 1700 miles away. Please think.

      2. jill carter says:


        1. jill carter says:

          my reply was to willow, not pretzeldude!!!!!

    2. James2 says:

      Actually Jesus said nothing, it was Paul who wrote about it. A pharisee who ate Christians for lunch and then converted. Thanks Paul for making my life harder than it should be. You could be Muslim. they hate gays too!

    3. Dakotahgeo says:

      Start walkin’, JB!! At least you agree that we are ALL on equal footing regarding our relationship to Christ. You will not answer for me; I will not answer for you.

  5. It's Time says:

    Shut Delong down. You want to marry? Find someone of the opposite sex.

    1. James2 says:

      Yawn, boring, not germain, does not work, try something else It’s Time as it’s time you tried some critical thinking.

    2. Dakotahgeo says:

      You are very ignorant of theological fields, It’s Time. Rev. DeLong will still be able to be ordained by many other denominations, i.e., the ELCA, PC-USA, the Presbyterian church, the UCC, and the Episcopaliaan church, just to mention a few. And then there’s the FCMCC denomination. Educate yourself… you are embarrassing yourself and other christians! (Small “c” intended).
      Dakotahgeo, M.Div. Pastor/Chaplain

  6. tuna-free dolphin says:

    You can do what ever you want. But if you want to represent the church, you should play by their rules. If you don’t like those rules, start your own church. Call it the “We believe everything in the Bible but the gay part” church. Problem solved.

    1. Lou says:

      Amen. But you don’t even need to start your own church. Just attend one that has already gone crazy like the Episcopal Church.

      For the media to frame this as her losing her job “For Taking A Stand” is absurd. She’s losing her job because she took an oath and then knowingly broke her pledge.

    2. Noni says:

      or the “We believe in everything in the Bible but the gay part, so no shaving, eating shellfish, or having female clergy” church.

      There are so many other things in the bible nearly every christian ignores. Even things that are found in many more places with much more reliable translation. In light of that, I don’t get why being gay is such a big deal.

  7. Willow says:

    This is why I wish religion was a thing of the past. Religious organizations are the only ones still allowed to discriminate against gay people. Why must we tolerate this as a nation?

    Still, we should not ban all religion because if it goes underground, people will become more extreme and we won’t know what is happening until another Al Qaida is formed.

    1. pretzeldude says:

      Willow, see my comment about your first statement. I’m praying that you accept Jesus. I always say “LET GO & LET GOD”. Life will be so much easier if you let God take charge of you life. Submit to Him.

      1. not gonna play that game says:

        i agree with Willow in large part. I was raised attending methodist church and having the church people and my parents telling me how “wrong” gays were but stressing that we were an “accepting” religion so we’d “tolerate” the gays until they learned to stop their sinful ways.

        I never believed in god and this attitude just pushed me further from giving the church any more chances to convince me I was wrong. No benevolent deity would support such hateful and discriminatory practices.

  8. Dee Dee says:

    God’s laws are God’s laws and no amount of wishing, hoping and dreaming are going to change that. What also must be understood is that there is a difference between religion and a relationship. All of us want to get caught up in rules, laws and doctrines which keeps us apart rather than pursuing and cultivating a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. When we focus on God, He makes His ways known to us and there can be no doubt as to what He expects. But as always we like to pick and choose what we like rather than accepting what God says is good and isn’t good. Please read Romans 1:18-31 and remember, just because we can do something doesn’t mean that it’s good for us. PEACE

    1. James2 says:

      God does not create mistakes Dee Dee. And I guarantee you that gays have heard those verses more often than not. Try something else other than talking points. You may be left with nothing to say. Thanks.

      1. sick of talking points says:

        And to James2, I say… AMEN

        1. Dakotahgeo says:

          AMEN, James!!
          Dakotahgeo, M.Div. Pastor/Chaplain

  9. Victim du jour says:

    Nothing is stopping gays from starting their own religious institutions.

    Gays have it so bad in the United States, boo hoo!!

    1. James2 says:

      Equality Victim. It’s not about religion. We don’t have it so bad in the US, and we make your life better. But, it’s about equality, legal equality, cuz I don’t give a rats behind if you like me or not. In the end, with Romer vs Evans on our side, we will prevail, and not to snub you, but to protect your equality too.

      1. Victim Du Jour says:

        Marraige Amendments don’t stop gays from having the same exact domestic partnership rights as married couples.

        Civil Unions are still perfectly valid for gays in the State of California, and a Civil Union falls under the same exact domestic partnership laws and codes as Marriage. Marriage amendments stop gays from harassing religious institutions with lawsuits.

        Gays have to make up stuff to be victims about, and it’s a form of victim masturbation.

    2. Dakotahgeo says:

      You’re humorous, lolol. Nothing to say, you have. The FCMCC has already done that. Other denominations are just starting to catch up. Way behind the times, you are!
      Dakotahgeo, aka Yoda 2! LOLOL.

  10. Rev. Daniel W. Blair says:

    Outrageous! This is open rebellion against God and His clear commandments and teachings in the Bible. But then we should not be surprised because it was prophesied in the last days that this would occur prior to the Man of Lawlessness being revealed and the Great Tribulation that separates the true believer in Christ from the heretic or infidel. See also my blog about the lukewarm church in the last days. Posted by Rev. Daniel W. Blair, author of Final Warning http://www.revelation-truth.org

    1. jeff says:

      the power of christ compells you! the power of christ compells you! etc……you are a cancer on our society. you offer nothing but hate, condemnation, destruction and misery. time for you to sing a new tune. i’ve become weary of your trite diatribes. maybe like falwell did you to will meet tinky winky at the gates of heaven……….wouldn’t it be great if life was like that?

    2. not gonna play that game says:

      I bet you said goodbye to everyone a few weeks ago in prep for the rapture, too, right? Get real, sir. There is no proof someone didn’t sit down and write the bible during a long day of caveman-era’s version of the Super Bowl. If the world comes to an end before the natural evolution of our planet, it’s going to be due to hatred like yours.

    3. Dakotahgeo says:

      What was the last planet you tried to hop on in anticipation of this wonderous event called the “rupture”? Looks to me like the rapture ruptured rather… badly!!! You’re hilarious! Better luck on the 21st of October.
      Dakotahgeo, M.Div. Pastor/Chaplain

    4. Gina Pants says:

      This is a blatant advertisement for your personal gain. I could call the sky orange and get people to believe me too…

  11. Victim Du Jour says:

    1st Amendment Guarantees “Religious Freedom”, and most people don’t go to church to think about gay people or their silly problems.

    Most of the time gay people are spewing hate about religions anyway.

    Religious Freedom means gays are perfectly free to start their own places of worship and Scouting Clubs.

    1. Dakotahgeo says:

      Double trolls… Victim and Blair!!!

  12. Jen says:

    Why you have to force your way of life to us? why not build your own churches the way you like? And to see many of your fellows spew hatred toward religious organizations if we didn’t want to do your will? I believe in this case Ms. DeLong broke her oath and need to be held accountable. We need dicipline in this almost you do what you want and feel good about it society.

  13. russell says:

    I find it funny that self-stating nonbelievers are posting on a topic of church politics. You people that are screaming religion is bad, yet voicing support for an openly gay minister are confusing! I would think that Amy herself would disagree with you on the premise that you do not accept God and his salvation through Jesus Christ. You cannot straddle the fence here, especially because it has to do with the church (internally) that you say you hate but yet because the issue falls within your personal agenda, you make comment. It is obvious that most posters here have no Biblical knowledge or understanding. How can you comment on something you know nothing about!?

  14. Rev. Pamela Dountas says:

    JB, it seems sad that YOU would turn your back on God because you disagree with someones interpitaion of the bible. How do you think that makes God feel?
    Without refering to old texts of the bible…..how can you deny anyone the right to serve God, to worship him, to love him? Are any of you so wise, so well studied that you are willing to turn your back on the children of God who are made by Him and for Him.
    YOU all are simplifying HATE and coloring knowlege, or fact. SHAME on all of you.

  15. Liz O says:

    My God would never discourage LOVE in any form. Love is what the whole thing is about. Let us love one another as God is loving us.

    1. Russell says:

      Liz O,
      You are absolutely correct that God loves us and that is what and who He is. I am concerned however that you may be confused as to what love really is. First love is shown by serving God and obeying His commands (Deuteronomy 10:12-13, Joshua 22:5). Secondly the bible uses the Greek word agape to describe love. This love is the Godly love that he shows us: a deliberate, purposeful love rather than emotional or impulsive love. This is the love that compels us do follow his commands. It is love in action; a God love. The only other word used for love in the New Testament is the Greek word Phileo that is literally interpreted as brotherly love. It refers to the connection among humans, but is not used in a coital sense. It is the love I share of all mankind that they know Christ as Lord. The relationship Amy shares with her mate does not meet God’s standard of love.In fact it is described as lust and unnatural relations in Romans 1. As a modern society we have grayed the lines of love and lust. We think that the butterflies in our stomachs equate to love. This is simply not the case. Love is not a feeling but a verb: it is something that we do and are called according to God’s purpose. The relationship between husband and wife is described in detail in 1 Corinthians. Let us get back to using love the way God intended and calls us to! God is Love.