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United Methodists Vote to Keep Traditional Marriage Stance

The UMC’s increasingly global delegation outweighs US push to shift LGBT positions, leading some progressive congregations to leave.
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United Methodists Vote to Keep Traditional Marriage Stance
Image: Kathleen Barry / United Methodist News Service (UMNS)

After days of passionate debate, deliberation, and prayer—and years of tension—the United Methodist Church (UMC) voted Tuesday to maintain its traditional stance against same-sex marriage and non-celibate gay clergy, bolstered by a growing conservative contingent from Africa.

The denomination’s “Traditional Plan” passed, with 438 votes in favor and 384 against (53% to 47%), in the final hours of a special UMC conference held this week in St. Louis to address the issue of human sexuality.

The decision leaves a sizable, vocal opposition, ensuring the exit of many progressive pastors and churches from the largest mainline Protestant body in America. After the final vote, protesters began chanting “no” and “stop the harm” through the rest of the session until the conference ended over an hour later.

The Traditional Plan preserves existing UMC positions and adds further accountability measures for those who violate them by performing same-sex ...

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