ALEXANDRIA, Ind. — A Methodist church in Indiana that suffered a massive walk-out after forcing its gay choir director to resign, will close its doors for good at the end of 2014.
David Mantor, pastor of the First United Methodist Church in Alexandria, Ind., says the decision to close the church resulted from falling attendance, membership and financing problems, reports The Herald Bulletin.
Former choir director Adam Fraley worked at the church for six years and attended with his partner, but when a new minister took over, he said that he resigned because of pressure about his sexual orientation.Dr. David Steele, a member of the church for nearly 60 years, was subsequently fired from his leadership position after advocating that Fraley be re-hired.
Steele says most of the congregants who left the church, including himself, never returned.
But Mantor says the closure “is not due to that situation whatsoever,” and cites statistics he says he’s seen from United Methodist Church headquarters that reflect a “downward spiral” of membership and donations across the whole UM church for the past 30 years.
A 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals ruling could have wide impacts for LGBTQ folks who believe they’ve been discriminated against in the workplace. While the ruling upheld it was still not against the law to discriminate against folks because of their sexuality, it did recognize sexuality under “sex” in line with anti-sex discrimination laws. Check [...]