United Methodist Court Upholds Ban on LGBTQ Clergy, Same Sex Marriage

CHICAGO (RNS) — The United Methodist Church’s top court has upheld much of the Traditional Plan approved earlier this year, continuing the global denomination’s ban on the ordination and marriage of its LGBTQ members.

Approved by delegates to a special session of the United Methodist Church’s General Conference in February, the Traditional Plan strengthens language in the denomination’s Book of Discipline that bars LGBTQ clergy and forbids same-sex marriage.

That rulebook currently states that “the practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching” and that “self-avowed practicing homosexuals” cannot be ordained as ministers, appointed to serve or be married in the church.

The Traditional Plan, as upheld by a Judicial Council decision announced Friday (April 26), defines a “self-avowed practicing homosexual” as a person who is “living in a same-sex marriage, domestic partnership or civil union or is a person who publicly states she or he is a practicing homosexual.”

The plan also bars bishops from consecrating, ordaining or commissioning “self-avowed practicing homosexuals” even if they have been elected or approved by the appropriate church body. It prohibits those church bodies from approving or recommending them as candidates, as well.

And it strengthens current complaint procedures and penalties in the Book of Discipline. A clergy member who performs a same-sex wedding will face a minimum one-year suspension without pay for the first offense and a loss of credentials for the second.

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I get you point and for some black & white is still the same and always will, I won't change what I know to be true because others choose a different route and will continue knowing that as long as most continue to Vote 4 the Better of Two Evils you'll end up with the same results as always, which is nothing more than Political Insanity. I know the term Electable is used frequently by many, however I also know as do others who've experienced losing is still not a reason the not try and mostly the excuse most use for not $upporting Candidates they personally don't care for and don't believe this will change as well. Better of Two Evils has been Worn out by those who practice and and continue to put the same people in office not those who expose the theology of others and I'm glad our Founders and many since hold all of us to a higher standard and unless and until that standard is once again upheld by all then the U. S. will continue its' Moral slide into Oblivion as have others Nations. 
God Bless You All; Clair Van Steenwyk

your comment made be think of Reagan: "the trouble with some people is that they know so much that isn't true."  Thanks for the memories.

In my youth, my family owned and bred as many as 4-dozen show-dairy goats at a time.  Herding goats was easy, as long as you built pens to quality standards, fed and watered them properly, and loved them.  In our middle-age, my husband and I owned as many as 4-dozen cats [living off-grid in the high desert requires vigilance against rodents].  It wasn't difficult herding cats, as long as you provided adequate living space, food and water, and loved them.  Goats and cats are social animals, with instinct-driven "pecking orders" and effective means of teaching members the basics of living in a herd or a pride.

But, God gave mankind the responsibility to choose whether or not to live peaceably and respectfully with other humans in a variety of venues, such as political parties and Internet forums, under His Guidelines.  As our Nation moves farther down the road away from Liberty into tyranny, the distinction between good and evil blurs; Moral Absolutes are denied; values, morals and virtues are rejected.  The natural consequence is the spreading prevalence of Good overcome by Evil.  Black & white become grey, as the Better of Two Evils is easier to choose than the challenge to seek, work and support the Good that is always there, waiting to be seen and chosen in Truth and Liberty!  

The People become fencesitters, calling balls and strikes, as they sit comfortably playing the role of Watchers, rather than Actors, as they lose the clarity to see that Good is always "good," and Evil is always "bad," regardless of what label they're given.  The good news of the gospel is that Evil does not prevail among the People of GOD, because, we have a Savior, Who died to atone for sin, that we might live!

But, as the Moral Absolutes of Truth are denied, the People accept instead the empty promise that Truth is whatever each individual says it is for him[or, her].  As long as the majority rejects Absolutes, the end result will  always be the Inadequacy of the Two Evils!  America will not restore our Constitution and revive Our Liberty under GOD as long as She seeks salvation in Evil, regardless whether it is the Lesser, or the "Better," of the Horns of the False Dilemma.

Amen, this is why many have dropped out as far to many are willing to move erase centuries of Faith for instant gratification and surrendering to what they call the new norm, well thankfully there are a few who won't and believe there always will be, however they're also the ones who now have the Gray area as they're standards and can only be comfortable there by taking pot shots at those of us who won't surrender to the Evil in our midst. God Bless You; Clair Van Steenwyk

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