Methodist Clergy Speak Out in Favor of Same-Sex Unions

From Religion News Service

About 1,300 United Methodist clergy have signed a statement expressing their dissent from the denomination’s teachings on homosexuality and affirming “appropriate liturgical support” for same-sex marriages or covenant partnerships.

The statement, which has been circulating within the denomination since the end of the church’s 1996 General Convention, and its signatories was made public as a gesture of support for the Rev. Jimmy Creech, an Omaha, Neb., pastor who has been suspended pending an investigation of his presiding at a covenant service uniting two women in his congregation.

“We feel this is a moment for our movement to go public in support of Jimmy Creech and all United Methodist clergy who seek to extend pastoral care to persons without discrimination as to sexual orientation,” said the Rev. Greg Dell, pastor of Broadway United Methodist Church in Chicago.


The movement was sparked by a statement during the 1996 meeting of the church’s top governing body in which 15 bishops said that although they will continue to uphold the denomination’s teachings on homosexuality, they disagreed with those teachings.

The church describes the “practice” of homosexuality as incompatible with Christian teaching, bars the ordination of gays and lesbians, and forbids clergy from performing same-sex marriages.

In the “In All Things Charity” statement, signers promised to continue “faithfully presenting . . . the positions of the denomination,” but said they would also witness to their disagreement with that teaching.