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Kate Kelly Appeals LDS Excommunication

Dan Bammes
Ordain Women founder Kate Kelly with her husband, Neil Ransom

  Kate Kelly, the founder of the group Ordain Women, has appealed her excommunication from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  And her husband is wondering why he hasn’t also been subjected to church discipline.

Kelly’s local ward bishop in Virginia excommunicated her for apostasy following a church disciplinary council last month. She notified her local stake president by yesterday’s deadline that she’s appealing the decision. The procedure is different for women than it would be for male priesthood holders, who would be subject to the authority of a stake high council. 

Kelly says she’ll follow the procedure outlined in Mormon scripture.

“Given that I’m a woman," Kelly tells KUER, "I had to be excommunicated by a bishop and appeal to the stake president, but if that appeal is unsuccessful, I still intend, as indicated in the Doctrine and Covenants, to appeal to the First Presidency.”

Kelly’s letter appealing the excommunication is accompanied by a 23-page brief prepared by attorney Nadine Hansen, another leader of Ordain Women.  It argues the decision was unfair on both substantive and procedural grounds.

Kelly’s husband, Neil Ransom, says he’s supported her every step of the way and actually created the group’s website.  He’s sent his own letter to the stake president, accusing church leaders of a sexist bias in his wife’s case.

Ransom tells KUER in an interview, “Nobody has ever talked to me about my involvement with Ordain Women.  None of my leaders ever talked to me about it, yet they excommunicate Kate and I remain in full fellowship without anyone bringing it up to me.”

Church spokesperson Jessica  Moody says the decisions of  church disciplinary councils are “always open to appeal and the Church will proceed accordingly.”

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