Lesbian couple seeks ordination and acceptance

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Mary Ann Kaiser and Annanda Barclay understand Christianity isn’t a religion known for accepting many of the issues they stand on, but they do believe that the basis of the faith is love and want to preach just that as they push for ordination.

Kaiser wants to become a Methodist minister and Barclay a part of the Presbyterian clergy. Although both faiths are fairly accepting of the LGBT community, they expect some problems. 

The Presbyterian clergy has been allowing members of the LGBT community to practice since 2011, but even though the United Methodist Church (UMC) allows LGBT ordination, they cannot be a “self-avowed, practicing homosexual.”

That rule wouldn’t work for the engaged couple, who plans to wed in Maryland later this year. Technically Kaiser is barred from the UMC but that hasn’t stopped her from trying for ordination.

Kaiser serves as a social justice and youth ministry director for the UMC and she says she is still very supportive of the church. 

“Our church council voted almost unanimously to recommend her as a candidate for the ministry. Opposition has been almost negligible; but we are concerned,” Senior Pastor Dr. John Elford told the Austin Chronicle. 

“At some point, given that it’s Texas and given the attitudes that some people have, I think we’re all afraid that she’s going to be told ‘no, you can’t do this, you can’t be ordained as a deacon.’ We feel for what that would mean for her, but she’s going to continue on and do excellent ministry wherever she is.”

Barclay wants to show the public and the church that the LGBT community shouldn’t be uncomfortable to sit in a church and practice their faith in fear they will face discrimination. 

Barclay and Kaiser aim to get the church to acknowledge that everyone is equal.

429Magazine

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