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 Pastor denies membership to homosexual, gets canned

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A pastor who denied church membership to a homosexual has been banished from the pulpit and denied his salary for one year by the Virginia Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church, despite the admission he acted on his conscience and his action could be defended "in theory" from the Methodist Book of Discipline.
Rev. Edward Johnson, former pastor of South Hill United Methodist Church for the past six years, will appeal his suspension to the denomination's highest court in Houston in late October.

The action leading to the pastor's "involuntary leave of absence" was initiated by Rev. W. Anthony Layman, retired district superintendent for Johnson's region in rural Southside Virginia, following Johnson's December refusal to allow a homosexual man to join his congregation.


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