SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has reportedly denied an appeal regarding the excommunication of a woman who helped found an organization aimed at changing what the group views as gender inequality within the LDS Church.
According to a press release from Ordain Women, Kate Kelly’s appeal was denied, and the denial stems from the original decision made by an LDS Church Disciplinary Council in a meeting held in June. Kelly and other members of Ordain Women stated at that time they were unhappy that only men sat on that council.
Kelly is one of the founders of Ordain Women, which has called for the ordination of women to the LDS Church priesthood and various other changes. The group has also staged demonstrations in an attempt to gain entry to a historically male-only meeting held during the LDS Church’s semi-annual general conference. Those efforts were not successful, though during that time frame the LDS Church began making the meeting in question available via online streaming.
Kelly stated in the press release she plans to appeal the decision: “I maintain to this day that I am not guilty of apostasy. I intend to pursue an appeal to the First Presidency of the Church and hope that they will be able to rectify this egregious error. I have love for the gospel and its people. I have encouraged others to stay inside the Church, if they are able. As provided for in the Church’s own appeals process, it is not too late for my leaders to declare my innocence and restore me to full fellowship.”
Supporters had protested in support of Kelly around the time of the original decision, and a church spokeswoman said they welcome questions but draw the line at advocating for positions opposed to doctrine.
“In the church we want all to feel welcome, safe, valued, and there is room for questions but how we ask is as important as what we ask, we shouldn’t try to dictate to God what is right in this church,” LDS Church Spokeswoman Ally Isom said in June.
The letter first sent to Kelly regarding the excommunication detailed some of the reasoning for the decision and addressed steps Kelly could take in order to once again become a member of the LDS Church.
“In order to be considered for readmission to the Church, you will need to demonstrate over a period of time that you have stopped teachings and actions that undermine the Church, its leaders, and the doctrine of the priesthood. You must be truthful in your communications with others regarding matters that involve your priesthood leaders, including the administration of Church discipline, and you must stop trying to gain a following for yourself or your cause and taking actions that could lead others away from the Church.”
Kate Kelly also posted on Ordain Women’s website regarding the decision, click here to read her complete comments.