Methodist bishop dismisses charges over California gay marriage

Posted: Friday, October 22, 2004

WEST SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) United Methodist Church Bishop Beverly Shamana has dismissed charges filed against the Rev. Karen Oliveto for officiating at a Feb. 15 wedding for a gay couple.

In June, Oliveto left San Francisco's Bethany United Methodist Church to become assistant dean for academic affairs at Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, whose president said her actions reflected its ''core values.''

Shamana said the Methodist Book of Discipline seeks ''reconciliation and resolution, and this goal has been achieved,'' United Methodist News Service reported.

The United Methodist Church officially recognizes only marriage between a man and a woman. Its May conference explicitly made performing of same-sex ceremonies a chargeable offense, following Oliveto's action.

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