United Methodist Church okays homosexuality; Africa poised to split

By Agencies

The United Methodist Church, which has some 10 million members around the world, repealed on Wednesday a ban on ordaining gay clergy and same-sex marriage.

Church leadership, at a conference held in North Carolina, approved the moves in a 692-51 vote.

The church removed its 1984 ban on the ordination of clergy who are “self-avowing practicing homosexuals.”

It also decided that clergy who perform same-sex marriages will not be subject to any penalties. Neither will clergy or churches which refuse to hold same-sex weddings.

“Delegates and observers applauded after the vote,” the church news agency said.

“Many hugged and more than a few cried, in a mass release of joy for those who had pushed, some for decades, to make The United Methodist Church fully inclusive,” it added.

The LGBTQ moves have not been without controversy. Thousands of more conservative United Methodist congregations have left the denomination in the past few years over the issue.

About half of the church’s global membership is in the United States.
Thousands of congregations have left the United Methodist Church amid contentious debates over sexuality, including a dispute over whether to accept gay marriage and LGBTQ+ pastors.

The rift marks the largest denominational schism in U.S. history. A quarter of the church’s approximately 30,000 congregations said they planned to remove themselves from the United Methodist Church as of Dec. 31. The church is one of America’s largest Protestant denominations.

The historic rift in the United Methodist Church is part of a larger split in recent years in the Christian religion over issues of gender and sexuality. Similar divides have led to splits among Baptists, Mennonites, Presbyterians and other protestant denominations.

More on Humanitarian Post:

Leave a Reply

Back to top button