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Jeanne Barnett and Ellie Charlton papers
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Collection Overview
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The Jeanne Barnett and Ellie Charlton papers relate to the Holy Union Service performed at the Sacramento Community Theater on January 16, 1999. The files are divided into five series: Series 1. Holy Union, Series 2. Personal, Series 3. Photographs, Series 4. Artifacts, and Series 5. Oversize. Within the collection are correspondence (letters, cards, and printed e-mails), newspaper articles, photographs, audio and video tapes, lapel pins, buttons, badges, scrapbooks, plaques, ephemera, personal information, promotional material, material relating to Jeanne Barnett's memorial service, and two purple jackets worn at the Holy Union Service. The Oversize series contains newspaper and magazine articles relating to the Holy Union service. Some material provided dates; for other material the date is unknown.
The United Methodist Church amended their Social Principals in 1996 to say that same sex union shall not be conducted by Methodist clergy. In 1998 the church further ruled that clergy could be held accountable for conducting same sex unions and could be dismissed from the ministry. Jeanne Barnett and Ellie Charlton had been together for fifteen years and were both active members of the United Methodist church; Barnett had been elected lay leader of the regional conference, the highest elected (and clerical) position in the conference, and Charlton served as a member of the conference board of trustees. Together, they started an after-school program at their local church. Their Holy Union was performed in Sacramento in January 1999 and was coordinated by Rev. Don Fado, who asked more than 100 retired or near-to-retirement clergy in the conference if they would stand with him to perform the service. The service may have been an act of ecclesiastical disobedience for the approximately 68 clergy involved, but Fado felt he was, in fact, being obedient to his calling in uniting this couple.
2 linear feet (3 boxes)
The collection is open for research.