Divided SC Methodists to weigh same-sex marriage, LGBT clergy bans at conference | The State

thestate | 6/3/2019 | Staff
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COLUMBIA, S.C.

South Carolina Methodists convening in Greenville for their five-day annual conference will consider petitions aimed at settling a rift within the United Methodist Church over whether to allow same-sex marriage and gay clergy.

February - Body - Church - Denomination - Bans

In February, the rule-making body of the Church affirmed and strengthened the denomination’s bans on “self-avowed practicing” gay clergy and same-sex marriage.

Just more than half of the church’s 822 global delegates voted to uphold the bans, ending a special conference in a seemingly irreconcilable split. That decision came about after an alternative plan was narrowly shot down at the global conference that would have allowed local and regional church leadership to decide their own stances on LGBT acceptance and inclusion.

Vote - Divisions - US - Churches - Members

The vote has caused divisions in and among U.S. churches, where some members are more accepting of same-sex marriage and LGBTQ clergy, and the more conservative Methodist conferences outside the United States, particularly in Africa, where the church is growing.

Dan O’Mara, a spokesman for the S.C. Conference of the United Methodist Church, said while some church members supported the decision to affirm the bans, “some were disappointed that the church’s stance on human sexuality remained unchanged. And there are some within both of those groups who believe that United Methodists can and should remain in mission and ministry together, despite deep divisions on this issue.”

United - Methodists - Members - United - States

United Methodists claim nearly 7 million members across the United States and more than 12 million members worldwide. It is the second-largest Protestant denomination in the country and in South Carolina, with nearly 1,000 churches and more than 222,000 church members across the state.

South Carolina will join annual conferences around the U.S. that have resolutions before them seeking to push back against the February vote. S.C. delegates will discuss petitions urging United Methodist Church leadership to rescind or reconsider its ban.

Supporters - Move

Supporters of the move...
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