Kate Kelly (feminist)

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Kate Kelly
Kate Kelly (feminist).jpg
Born (1980-10-29) October 29, 1980 (age 39)
Alma mater
OccupationHuman rights lawyer
Known forFounder of Ordain Women
J. Neil Ransom (m. 2006)
Websitewww.katekellyesq.com Edit this at Wikidata

Kathleen Marie Kelly (born October 29, 1980), known as Kate Kelly, is an American feminist and Mormon feminist[1] and human rights lawyer who co-founded Ordain Women, an organization advocating for the ordination of women to the priesthood in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). Kelly was excommunicated from the LDS Church in 2014.

Early life and education[edit]

Kelly was born in 1980 in Arizona to Jim and Donna Kelly as the first of four children. She grew up in Hood River, Oregon, with both her parents working outside the home. Both parents were converts to the LDS Church, and her father at one time served as bishop of a local congregation.[2]

Kelly graduated from Brigham Young University (BYU) with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science in 2006.[3] While at BYU, she organized a campus protest of nearly 100 students concerning the firing of a university employee for criticizing student elections.[2][4] Kelly went on to earn a law degree from American University in 2012.[3] In September 2015, Kelly joined Planned Parenthood as a strategic advocate and policy counsel.[5] Kelly also joined the Center for Constitutional Rights and also worked as a researcher for United Nations Committee Against Torture in Geneva.[6]

Ordain Women[edit]

In May 2013, Kelly co-founded Ordain Women, an organization advocating for the ordination of women to the priesthood in the LDS Church.[7] Kelly was requested by local church leaders to cease her campaign.[8][9] Kelly subsequently demonstrated on Temple Square during the church's April 2014 General Conference,[8] after which she was excommunicated in June 2014 in absentia after declining to attend a disciplinary council.[10]

In the weeks before and after her excommunication, Kelly urged followers to stay in the church and "raise hell" if they could do so while maintaining their mental and emotional health.[11][12] She appealed her excommunication, first to her stake president,[13][14] then to the First Presidency, all of whom rejected the appeal.[15][16]

Personal life[edit]

Kelly served an 18-month LDS mission in Barcelona, Spain.

Kelly married J. Neil Ransom in the Salt Lake Temple in 2006.[17] The couple were "childless by choice".[18] On March 14, 2016 Kelly confirmed she had divorced her husband and had started a relationship with Jack Waters.[19] In an interview with John Dehlin, Kelly confirmed she no longer has a belief in the LDS Church.[19]

Kelly no longer claims any religious affiliation.[20] In October 2015 she participated in the pseudo-ordination of a female Roman Catholic priest coordinated by the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests, an organization claiming affiliation with the Catholic Church. The Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City issued a statement claiming they "had no prior knowledge of this event and is sad that it is taking place". Ordination of women to the Catholic priesthood goes against canon law and any known participants are automatically excommunicated.[21]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Tribune, Peggy Fletcher Stack The Salt Lake. "Two years after an excommunicated Kate Kelly sought a giant leap, Mormon feminists keep making small steps toward equity". The Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved 2017-05-25.
  2. ^ a b Marostica, Laura (March 7, 2014). "Feminism in Faith: Kate Kelly's Mission to Ordain Mormon Women". BuzzFeed BuzzReads.
  3. ^ a b "Sista Beehive and Sista Laurel" (January 26, 2014), "Ordain Women (Kate Kelly & Suzette Smith)", SistasInZion.com, Sistas in Zion
  4. ^ "BYU Students Protest Firing". KSL.com. KSL-TV/KSL News Radio. AP. April 1, 2006.
  5. ^ ANNIE KNOX and Rachel Piper The Salt Lake Tribune. "Ex-Ordain Women leader Kate Kelly joins Planned Parenthood of Utah | The Salt Lake Tribune". Sltrib.com. Retrieved 2015-11-24.
  6. ^ Staff
  7. ^ Peggy Fletcher stack and Michael McFall The Salt Lake Tribune. "Kate Kelly out as leader of Mormon group Ordain Women | The Salt Lake Tribune". Sltrib.com. Retrieved 2015-11-24.
  8. ^ a b Walch, Tad (June 11, 2014). "Two Mormon activists say they are facing church discipline". Deseret News. Retrieved April 25, 2015.
  9. ^ "Letter to Kate Kelly - The Washington Post". Apps.washingtonpost.com. 2014-06-30. Retrieved 2015-11-24.
  10. ^ Walsh, Tad (June 23, 2014), "LDS bishop excommunicates Ordain Women founder", Deseret News
  11. ^ Kelly, Kate, "Episode 112: Kate Kelly on Being Disciplined by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints", Feminist Mormon Housewives Podcast
  12. ^ Kate Kelly of Ordain Women speaks about her excommunication from the LDS (Mormon) Church, The Salt Lake Tribune, June 24, 2014
  13. ^ Carlisle, Nate (July 24, 2014), "Kate Kelly appeals excommunication from Mormon church", The Salt Lake Tribune
  14. ^ "Nancy" (July 23, 2014), "Kate Kelly's Appeal to Her Stake President", Ordainwomen.org
  15. ^ Stack, Peggy Fletcher (October 31, 2014), "Kelly loses appeal, keeps fighting for Mormon membership", The Salt Lake Tribune
  16. ^ Stack, Peggy Fletcher (February 28, 2015), "Ordain Women's Kate Kelly loses last appeal; husband to resign from Mormon church", The Salt Lake Tribune
  17. ^ Stack, Peggy Fletcher (June 22, 2014). "Mormon Bishopric Wants More Time to Decide Kate Kelly's Fate". The Salt Lake Tribune.
  18. ^ Kelly, Kate. "488-490: Neil Ransom and Kate Kelly – After Kate's Excommunication". Momron Stories Podcast.
  19. ^ a b Kelly, Kate. "Mormon Stories: 624: Kate Kelly on Life after Excommunication, Safe Sex, And Women's Reproductive Rights".
  20. ^ Bill Allred (2016-06-13). "The Let's Go Eat Show". The Let's Go Eat Show (Podcast). Event occurs at 3:37. Retrieved 2016-06-14.
  21. ^ Kristen Moulton The Salt Lake Tribune. "Salt Lake City woman is first in Utah to claim ordination to Catholic priesthood | The Salt Lake Tribune". Sltrib.com. Retrieved 2015-11-24.

External links[edit]