First openly gay bishop may lose job

DENVER (KUSA) – The first openly gay bishop for the United Methodist Church could lose her title because of her sexuality.

The denomination’s highest court heard arguments Tuesday and could decide this week if it will overturn Denver-based Reverend Karen Oliveto’s election.

“This is a community of faith and I’m a clergy person who believes we are called to draw our circle wider, not to build walls, not to build barriers, not to exclude people,” says Rev. Eric Strader of Christ Church United Methodist.

The church on Colorado Boulevard in Denver is covered with rainbow signs signifying open doors for the LGBT community.

While some individual churches and pastors like Strader welcome diversity, in the 1970s the United Methodist Church added a clause to their rules stating clergy cannot be “self-avowed practicing homosexuals.”

Despite this rule, Oliveto became the first lesbian elected bishop last July. She oversees hundreds of churches in five states including Colorado. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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