An American pastor who appeared on TV as the queen of drag is being punished

A local official of his congregation confirmed to AFP on Wednesday that an American Protestant cleric had been fired from his ministry for appearing on a brief television show as the dragon queen, wearing a huge pink wig and a small leopard.

Craig Duke, 62, made a very noticeable passage last month – at least by some of his horrified parishioners – on the HBO channel “We Are Here”: we see him wearing high-heeled thigh-high boots, in particular. Around the neck, lipstick and dark purple eye shadow.

Following this media moment, he described it as a “powerful spiritual moment,” and in an interview with the Religious News Service, the pastor, a member of the United Methodist Church, became embroiled in heated controversy.

Faced with “many important calls and emails” but also support, the church’s local leader decided to “relieve Pastor Duke of his pastoral duties” by reducing his salary and banning the provision of religious services at his church near Evansville. North Indiana.

However, an angry Mitch Gieselman wrote in a letter to the parishioners that Pastor Duke was “not responsible for violating the rules of the United Methodist Church.”

Contacting the AFP on Wednesday, Mr. Giselman confirmed and declined to comment.

The pastor’s fate sparked an emotional outcry, with nearly $ 60,000 in donations on Wednesday.

“May the bridge of understanding and acceptance of the LGBTQ community be extended to our community and beyond,” the pastor and his comrade said in a statement Wednesday.

He did not seem to regret his ingenuity: “I was immersed in a culture I never immersed in,” he concluded, “and if you want to involve people different from you in a (religious) ministry, you have to meet them. The invitation to this event allowed me to do so.” .

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