PLANO, TX — (02-28-23) — A megachurch in Texas voted overwhelmingly to leave the United Methodist Church (UMC) for ordaining LGBTQ clergy and officiating at or hosting same-sex marriages. The church’s departure comes as more than 2,000 U.S. churches have disaffiliated from United Methodist Church since 2019, when they publicly came out in support of LGBTQ clergy and same-sex marriage.
The United Methodist Church, with an estimated 10.4 million members in the United States, has current policies that are strongly against the LGBTQ community. However, many church leaders, including local pastors, welcome gays and lesbians as church members and support their basic human rights.
As reported by the Human Rights Campaign, “Currently, “self-avowed, practicing” gay, lesbian and bisexual persons cannot be ordained in The United Methodist Church. According to the Book of Discipline: “The practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching.
Therefore self-avowed practicing homosexuals are not to be certified as candidates, ordained as ministers, or appointed to serve in The United Methodist Church.” Although some regions still raise obstacles, gay, lesbian and bisexual persons who take a vow of abstinence are eligible for ordination according to church law.
In 2014, both the New England and California-Pacific conferences issued statements that they would not discriminate against LGBTQ people seeking ordination—an action that goes directly against church law.
Transgender ministers have served United Methodist churches. There is no policy excluding them from ordination. An attempt to deny ordination to transgender persons failed at the General Conference in 2008.”
Article by: Paul Goldberg, Staff Writer
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