Background Information on the Trial of Rev. Karen Dammann

JOIN SOULFORCE IN BOTHELL WA (near Seattle) FOR THE TRIAL OF THE REV. KAREN DAMMANN Non-Violent Training – March 16, 2004 Direct Action / Civil Disobedience, March 17, 2004


On March 24, 2001, the Rev. Karen Dammann “came out” to her Bishop and to the United Methodist Board of Ordained Ministry. She made it very clear “…that I can no longer live the life of a closeted lesbian clergyperson.” She went on to say “I am living in a partnered, covenanted, homosexual relationship.”

On January 12, 2004 (after almost four years of interminable debate) the United Methodist Committee on Investigation forwarded “charges for trial” by a vote of 5-2 for “Practices declared by the UMC to be irreconcilable with Christian teaching.”

In our Soulforce letter to Pastor Dammann’s Bishop, Steven Webster writes:

“The church law under which Karen is charged is an unjust assault on the equality, humanity and sacred worth of Karen and all lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons. Her crime or ‘chargeable offense’ is nothing other than her honest declaration that she has formed a family with a partner deemed by the church to be of the ‘wrong gender.’ On trial with her are millions of lesbian, gay bisexual and transgender persons who live in relationships of covenantal faithfulness, build homes, raise children and contribute to their churches and communities.”

That trial will take place in Bothell (near Seattle, WA.) on Wednesday, March 17, 2004

The People of Soulforce believe that even if the jury of her clergy peers exonerate Karen Dammann, that the trial itself is unconscionable and must be protested by a nonviolent vigil and direct action that could result in a civil disobedience.

WHEN: March 16 – 17 (Although the trial is scheduled to last several days, Soulforce will concentrate its protest efforts on the opening session. However, if you can stay longer, we encourage you to stand vigil with the PNWRMN (Pacific Northwest Reconciling Ministries Network) in support of Rev. Dammann, should the trial continue and take place.

ARRIVE by 6 PM Tuesday, March 16 for Training in Nonviolent Resistance

ARRIVE by 7 AM Wednesday, March 17 for all day VIGIL AND DIRECT ACTION

*You do NOT have to be arrested to stand with us or just to support our action.

WHERE: Bothell United Methodist Church
18515 92nd NE
Bothell, WA (near Seattle)

WHO: If you are concerned about the spiritual violence that flows out of the anti-homosexual teachings and actions of the Protestant and Catholic Churches of this county, you are welcome to join Soulforce in this important protest. You don’t need to have experience in activism, just a willingness to be trained in nonviolence. During the Tuesday night training you can decide to participate in one of three ways (or to not participate at all).

1. You can help behind the scenes without being directly involved in the vigil or civil disobedience.

2. You can stand vigil without being involved in the civil disobedience.

3. You can join in the direct action/civil disobedience (after you understand the possible consequences) and risk arrest.

Location of Soulforce registration will be announced.

Nonviolence Training will be held at 6pm, Tuesday, March 16 at:

Northshore Senior Center
10201 E. Riverside Drive
Bothell WA 98111

You can pre-register to get immediate up-to-date information as it develops on line below.