Ordain Women founder to appeal to LDS First Presidency

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Kate Kelly, center, founder of Ordain Women, walks with supporters to the Church Office Building  during a vigil in Salt Lake City on June 22, 2014. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)
Kate Kelly, center, founder of Ordain Women, walks with supporters to the Church Office Building during a vigil in Salt Lake City on June 22, 2014. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

Kate Kelly, founder of Ordain Women, announced Friday that she would appeal to the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for a review of the decision to excommunicate her.

Kelly made the announcement in a press release on the Ordain Women website after her appeal to local Church leaders was denied. Kelly was excommunicated after her stake president and Church leaders in Oakton, Virginia, held a disciplinary council in June 2014.

“I maintain to this day that I am not guilty of apostasy,” Kelly said, according to the press release. “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.”

The Ordain Women group said they plan to continue pushing forward with their mission, which is “to work for equality and the ordination of Mormon women to the priesthood,” according to the group’s website.

In an official Church statement released in the wake of Kelly’s excommunication, the Church said, “Sometimes members’ actions contradict Church doctrine and lead others astray. While uncommon, some members in effect choose to take themselves out of the Church by actively teaching and publicly attempting to change doctrine to comply with their personal beliefs. This saddens leaders and fellow members. … Actions to address a person’s membership and standing in their congregation are convened after lengthy periods of counseling and encouragement to reconsider behavior. Ultimately, the door is always open for people to return to the Church.”

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