Complaints To Be Filed Tuesday For Ca-Nev Mass Lesbian Wedding Participants
Update: Sunday, March 21, 1999
This morning the Rev. David Bennett, DS of the Delta Dist. Of the Ca.-Nev. Annual Conference came to our 11:00 worship service....
He told me that on Tuesday, the Cabinet will be filing formal complaints against all clergy who took part in, or lent their names in support, of disobedience to the denominations guidelines. These charges will be investigated by a committee of clergy and lay people. My understanding is that the Rev. Ron Swisher will be head of the committee. (I cannot confirm that.)
Then they said it would be up to the Bishop to determine whether or not the evidence merits a church trial. David Bennett said that he thought that things would proceed rather quickly after Tuesday. He said that they really wanted to get this behind them as quickly as possible so they could "get back to the more important business of doing ministry." (A "line" he no doubt picked up from Pres. Clinton).
I asked him specifically if the move on the part of the cabinet was an attempt to make this a "class action" affair. He replied that the pastors being charged, had the right to meet with their accusers one on one if they so desired. He didn't think that would be necessary.
I asked him if those filing the complaint had the same right, to meet with the disobedient pastor one on one. He hedged, and said he was not sure if that would happen.
What this looks like is an attempt to handle the whole issue inside the walls of the Conference office in order to keep the opposing laity and pastors from getting their day in court. I don't know for sure if that is what they are doing, or even if they can do it legally.
I do know that the Bishop told me last January 19th that he himself would not be filing charges. Obviously he must have changed his mind, at least the cabinets mind.
The part about filing complaints against those who lent their names in support of the ceremony is a conflicting statement to that in a letter which we received after lodging our complaints. At that time, two weeks ago, only those who participated would be considered. Obviously there has been a change.
I will keep you posted. - Blessings, Mike
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