United Methodist Church’s Court to Discuss Opposition to Anti-Homosexuality Policy

This week, the United Methodist Church’s highest court will hold a semiannual meeting, and the denomination’s leaders are expected to discuss growing opposition to the church’s rules on homosexuality. There are a growing number of Methodist ministers who have faced formal complaints for violating the church’s policy that relates to their teaching that “the practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching.” Among those that oppose the beliefs, which is part of the church’s official doctrine in their “Book of Discipline”, is Rev. Thomas Ogletree, the former dean of Yale Divinity School and Drew Theological School, who recently presided over the wedding of his gay son.

Though official church law cannot be changed until an upcoming meeting in 2016, according to Religious News Service, opponents of the current doctrine hope that the leaders will “support a Western Jurisdiction 2012 resolution that says the church is in error on homosexuality and should ignore the Book of Discipline’s laws on it.” John Lomperis, United Methodist program director of the Institute on Religion and Democracy, told RNS, “We’re not a weather vane. We are actually a global church. We are not seeing these social, secular shifts in global Africa. I would see it as ethnocentric for the church to take its cues from just the American culture.” Olgetree however, who opposes the church’s current position on gays, likened the rule to the church’s former doctrinal support of slavery and segregation, saying, “I don’t think we can bring about change without more of us stepping forward boldly” …

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