Kate Kelly, an activist who agitated for the Mormon church to ordain women, was excommunicated Monday by an all-male panel of judges.
Kelly organized the group Ordain Women in 2013 to demand that the Mormon Church allow women to be priests, and she quickly became the leader of the church feminist movement. She drew national attention for protesting the church’s refusal to ordain women by lining up Mormon women of all ages outside church conferences in Salt Lake City, according to the New York Times.
On Monday, Kelly received an email from Bishop Mark Harrison telling her that an all-male panel of church elders had convicted her of apostasy and voted for her excommunication on Sunday. “Our determination is that you be excommunicated for conduct contrary to the laws and order of the Church,” Bishop Harrison wrote Kelly, according to a statement on Ordain Women’s website.
“The decision to force me outside my congregation and community is exceptionally painful,” Kelly said in a statement. “Today is a tragic day for my family and me as we process the many ways this will impact us, both in this life and in the eternities. I love the gospel and the courage of its people. Don’t leave. Stay, and make things better.”
Kelly was warned in May that she would face church consequences if she did not disaffiliate from Ordain Women and take down the website, but she refused. She chose not to attend the hearing, but sent a letter to the judges asking them to “allow me to continue to worship in peace.”
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