SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The founder of a Mormon women’s group who was excommunicated last year is stepping down from the organization.
Kate Kelly resigned earlier this week form the executive board of Ordain Women.
Chairwoman Debra Jenson said Friday that Kelly has earned a chance to move forward and focus on other causes, The Salt Lake Tribune reported (http://bit.ly/1IXom0D ).
“There is no way to measure the impact she has had for women and girls in our community,” Jenson said in a statement. “Her work and talent will be missed, and we thank her for her sacrifice and bravery.”
Ordain Women was founded in 2013 to push for women to be allowed in the all-male lay clergy. The group previously staged demonstrations outside two church conferences in Salt Lake City, drawing criticism from church leaders.
The group’s executive board plans to continue pursuing the goal of ordination, according to Jenson. The group has continued to post photos of women involved in imaginary healing blessings as well as supportive profiles on its website.
However, some supporters have quietly withdrawn their profiles out of fear or changed perspectives. Kelly, who has been living in Kenya, sometimes drew criticism and division for her post-excommunication persona.
Kelly lost her membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints last year after being found guilty of apostasy, defined as repeated and public advocacy of positions that oppose church teachings.
When she lost her final appeal in February, Kelly said she was still proud of her open lobbying on behalf of women.
“I am proud of the women and men who have taken a stand with me in this struggle for gender justice,” Kelly said.
Her husband, Neil Ransom, resigned his own membership.
Information from: The Salt Lake Tribune, http://www.sltrib.com
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