Gay man fired by church because of his sexuality
A children’s choir director has been fired by a church that does not allow gay people to be “spiritual leaders”.
Ryan Mould had been working at Trinity United Methodist Church, in Jacksonville, North Carolina, for three years.
Mould was dismissed after his sexual orientation came up during a meeting with the church’s leadership.
Reverend Steve Smith asked Mould about his history at the church and his baptism during a meeting.
Mould said: “I explained I was first welcomed to the church to sing in the choir and that led to me being asked to be the children’s music director.
“I felt safe, welcome and loved at Trinity,” he added.
He informed Smith that he had previously struggled in the past because gay people face barriers in the church.
Mould said he received a phone call from the Reverend a few days after the meeting.
“He told me he had been thinking and praying about what I told him about my sexuality and he felt he needed to bring that information to the church’s staff-parish relations committee.”
Following the call, Mould and the committee met to discuss Mould’s future at the church.
Mould was grilled about his sexuality.
He was asked if he was still sexually active, if he was celibate, and if he was seeking a partner of the same-sex.
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He was fired shortly after the meeting on the grounds that the denomination’s lawbook does not allow gay people in leadership roles.
Jan Lawrence, director of Reconciling Ministries Network, an unofficial United Methodist group advocating for LGBT+ inclusion in the church, said: “This is yet another painful example of why changing our denominational policies remains an urgent issue.”
“Until all discriminatory policies are eradicated, they run the risk of being manipulated and exaggerated, broadening their potential for harm as evidenced in this painful situation,” she added.
However, some pro-LGBT+ progress has been achieved within some church organisations around the world.
A church in Brighton welcomed its first transgender, non-binary pastor earlier this year.
And the Church of England is planning to discuss holding services for same-sex couples.