NEWBURGH, Ind. — A pastor in Newburgh has been let go after appearing on an HBO show following the lives of drag performers.
Pastor Craig Duke of the Newburgh United Methodist Church is said to have appeared in drag on the HBO Show “We’re Here” last month and demonstrated an accepting attitude towards queer and non-binary people.
“Unfortunately, Craig’s participation in this show caused much turmoil in the church that he was serving at the time and ultimately lead to him being ‘relieved of pastoral duties’ at that church,” said organizers of a GoFundMe page for Duke.
Duke was nominated to take part in the show by the River City Pride organization. In a letter to their congregation, Newburgh UMC said that Duke has been “relieved of his duties” as pastor.
The letter goes on to say that Duke “has not ‘resigned,’ nor has he been ‘fired,’ as these are not actions that are consistent with our appointment system.”
“Pastor Craig considers himself to be a man of faith, a father, a husband, a social justice advocate, and ally for the LGBTQIA+ community,” said GoFundMe organizers. “Craig has a hope and has fought for a fully inclusive church that is welcoming to people of all races, all genders, and all sexual orientations. He longs for a day that all people are able to marry and serve as ordained clergy in the United Methodist Church.”