The United Methodist Church announced the decision Tuesday at its General Conference after a group of international delegates voted in favor of maintaining the church’s current rules. The delegates also voted down a new set of proposed rules that would have let each church decide how to handle issues of sex and gender.
“The traditionalists within the United Methodist Church have chosen to exclude and marginalize LGBTQIA+ Christians whose only desire is to serve their church and express the Love of God in the world,” said Brandan Robertson, the lead pastor at Missiongathering Christian Church. “Nothing could be more antithetical to the message Jesus embodied and proclaimed.”
According to San Diego Pride, 65 percent of people in the LGBTQ community identify as religious or spiritual in some way. The organization runs an interfaith coalition called DevOUT and hosts an annual interfaith service at St. Paul’s Cathedral to celebrate tolerance of faith and sexuality.
“This week was hard for many who have worked with determination for so long to help the United Methodist Church join the many other open and affirming congregations and faith institutions around the world in their full embrace of the LGBTQ community,” said San Diego Pride Executive Director Fernando Lopez. “We stand in solidarity with those who continue to fight for their place within their own families and faith.”
— City News Service