Home / News / Church & Ministry / United Methodists vote to remove all bans on LGBTQ clergy, weddings

United Methodists vote to remove all bans on LGBTQ clergy, weddings

The United Methodist Church today voted overwhelmingly to allow “self-avowed practicing homosexuals” to be ordained and serve as ministers of the church.

The vote, 692-51, was made at their General Conference and overturned a longstanding ban that had divided the denomination. It came with no discussion from the floor.

It was the first gathering of the conference in five years and completely reversed decades of votes in which the denomination had supported the ban. Observers say that many of those who had previously upheld a biblical worldview toward homosexuality have since left the church. Thousands of UMC churches have split with the denomination in recent years causing the Conference to move decidedly to the left on the issue.

As the vote tally was read, applause erupted with one observer from an LGBTQ advocacy group shouting “Thanks be to God.”

The vote further divides the US denomination from African and other bodies around the world who still hold to a Biblical definition of marriage, gender and church service. Observers say the move will likely further splinter the denomination, once one of the nation’s largest.

The vote doesn’t mandate LGBTQ clergy but rather no longer forbids them from holding positions as pastors and other leadership roles.

Another measure approved Wednesday forbids district superintendents or regional administrators from being punished for holding or refusing to officiate at or hold same-sex weddings. Churches can also not be forced to hold a same-sex ceremony.

Also approved was a measure that forbids district superintendents — or regional administrators — from penalizing clergy for either performing a same-sex wedding or for refraining from performing one. It also forbids superintendents from forbidding or requiring a church from hosting a same-sex wedding.

Delegates will vote next on removing language from the church that calls the “practice of homosexuality … incompatible with Christian teaching” and  replace it with language that defines marriage as between “two people of faith” rather than between a man and a woman.

As of February, 2024, 7,631 congregations have departed the United Methodist Church with more than half of those affiliating with the  conservative Global Methodist Church.

It takes effect immediately upon the conclusion of the conference on Friday.

This is a breaking story.

–Dwight Widaman | Metro Voice


Leave a Reply