United Methodist Church May Change Policy on Homosexuality

Timothy Kincaid

April 30th, 2008

The United Methodist Church meets every four years in a General Conference. Currently they are meeting in Fort Worth, TX.

A legislative committee of the UMC met for about seven hours on Monday and came up with a proposal to change the church’s statements on homosexuality. Though they began as liberals and conservatives, they reached concensus as centrists.

The Ledger reports on the proposal

The church’s current policy declares, “The United Methodist Church does not condone the practice of homosexuality and considers this practice incompatible with Christian teaching.” A legislative committee has proposed a sweeping change to that policy, taking a neutral stance, calling “all members of our community of faith to commitment, integrity and fidelity in their sexual relationships.”

The proposal also acknowledges the strong disagreements within the church and asks “the Church, United Methodist and others, and the world, to refrain from judgment regarding homosexual persons and practices until the Spirit leads us to new insight.”

Almost 1,000 delegates will vote today whether to accept the proposal of the committee. In 2004 a different proposal to soften opposition was defeated 55% to 45%. Supporters of the change are hopeful but not yet confident in a positive vote this year.

Regardless of the outcome of the vote, this conference has already yielded results that can only be seen as promising for those who believe in full inclusion within the church.

The Star-Telegram reports that the ideological center of the Judicial Council has shifted to one that could be supportive of LGBT Methodists.

Five newly elected members to the United Methodist Church’s Judicial Council — the denomination’s “supreme court” — could change the dynamics of the nine-member council on such issues as homosexuals in leadership roles, denomination insiders said Monday.

The council previously had a 6-3 conservative majority. But only one of the council members elected Monday is conservative, joining the sole conservative member remaining on the council, said Mark Tooley, director of the UMAction program of the Institute on Religion and Democracy, a conservative and evangelical organization.

Time will only tell whether about the Council’s decisions. However, as homosexuality was a central dispute in the fight over the Council members, this may be a hopeful indicator for today’s vote.


April 30th, 2008

isnt bush a methodist?

Pepe Johnson

May 1st, 2008

This is excellent news! I was raised an American Baptist, but many, many family members and friends are United Methodist. I’ve always considered them to be a thoughtful denomination. I pray they affirm the new policy.

And, yes, President Bush is a Methodist.

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