HOUSTON, Oct. 28 (UPI) -- The United Methodist Church's highest court must decide the cases of one pastor who was removed for being gay and one who refused to admit a gay parishioner.
The Rev. Edward Johnson is on unpaid leave from the South Hill United Methodist Church, the Washington Post reports. He refused the entreaties of his supervisor and his bishop to allow an avowed active homosexual to become a formal member of the church.
The Rev. Beth Stroud won a regional appeal on technical grounds of a ruling that she could not serve as pastor of a Philadelphia church because she is in a relationship with another woman. Stroud continues to serve the church as a lay minister while she waits for the high court's findings.
The Rev. Tom Thomas, representing Johnson, argued Thursday that the church gives pastors sole authority to decide who can be a member.