AMES, Iowa (AP) _ A gay Iowa pastor has appealed a Lutheran church decision to revoke his ministry because of his sexual orientation.

A disciplinary committee of the Evangelical Lutheran Church voted Feb. 3 to revoke The Rev. Steve Sabin's ministry for violating a church policy that prevents practicing homosexuals from being ordained.

Lutherans allow the ordination of gay and lesbian ministers _ but only if they take a vow to abstain from having relations with others of the same sex.

Sabin, minister of the Lord of Life Lutheran Church in Ames, is scheduled to be removed from the list of the church's ordained ministers effective April 15. He has asked for a delay until the appeals committee issues a decision.

Sabin is arguing that the church has not clearly defined what it means to be a ``practicing homosexual.'' He said Wednesday that the disciplinary committee abused its role in his case.