updated 4/29/2005 11:46:06 AM ET 2005-04-29T15:46:06

The United Methodist Church reversed itself Friday, deciding to reinstate a lesbian minister who was defrocked after revealing her relationship with another woman.

A church panel voted 8 to 1 to set aside an earlier decision to defrock Irene “Beth” Stroud for violating the church’s ban on openly gay clergy.

The Philadelphia minister said she was relieved by the ruling and hopes the church will become more inclusive to people regardless of sexual orientation.

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