AP NEWS

Gay pastor taking leave to settle complaints against her

November 14, 2019 GMT

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Officials say a gay pastor in Iowa City will request a leave of absence as part of a settlement of complaints that her sexual orientation violates United Methodist Church law.

The Rev. Anna Blaedel had been director of the Wesley Center at the University of Iowa but stepped down in May because of a church complaint filed in 2018. She’s been the subject of three complaints since she publicly disclosed in 2016 that she was gay.

Blaedel has since been working 10-15 hours a week leading the center’s Table Tuesday program, in which college students gather to discuss spirituality and social justice.

The Rev. Tyler Schwaller has been representing Blaedel, and he told The Gazette that Blaedel will retain her pastoral credentials. Blaedel has declined to comment.

Delegates at a United Methodist Church conference in St. Louis voted in February to strengthen a ban on LGBTQ clergy and same-sex marriage.

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Information from: The Gazette, http://www.gazetteonline.com/