The United Methodist Church's highest court on Friday ruled that an openly gay bishop's consecration violated church law.

The bishop, Karen P. Oliveto of Denver, who is married to Robin Ridenour, was elected last year to lead a region that is part of the Methodist Western Jurisdiction.

The church's Judicial Council ruled 6-3 that her ascension defied the church's lawbook, which bans openly gay clergy.

“Under the longstanding principle of legality, no individual member or entity may violate, ignore or negate church law,” the court wrote. “It is not lawful for the College of Bishops of any jurisdiction or central conference to consecrate a self-avowed practicing homosexual bishop.”

The court offered supporters a glimmer of hope, saying that Oliveto “remains in good standing” and could keep her job pending further proceedings.

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest LGBT rights advocate, said in a statement that it was “disappointed that the UMC did not honor” the decision of the church's Western Jurisdiction.

Oliveto's election was challenged by the church's South Central Jurisdiction.

A movement to change church law to allow same-sex marriages and openly gay clergy has majority support among delegates in the United States, but they have been outnumbered by conservative delegates from Africa and Asia, The New York Times reported.