Monday, May 03, 2004

UMC hits a homer

United Methodists Become First Mainline Church Against
Same-Sex Marriage

On Saturday, May 1, the General Conference of the United Methodist Church voted to add language to the denomination's Social Principles endorsing "laws in civil society that define marriage as the union of one man and one woman." The vote was 625 to 184 among the delegates from around the world, who meet every 4 years to establish the 10 million-member denomination's policies.

Mark Tooley, director of the UM Action Committee of the Institute on Religion and Democracy thanked the General Conference for opposing same-sex "marriage" in civil law.

It is perhaps the first instance of a mainline Protestant denomination in the U.S. taking a specific position on this issue, as Americans debate a proposed constitutional amendment and other responses to court demands in Massachusetts and elsewhere to legalize same-sex “marriage.”

"This statement will send a powerful message to American society and other nations where there is a Methodist presence that our church affirms traditional marriage as a vital part of every human society," commented Mark Tooley, who directs IRD's UMAction.

This was the first instance of a major mainline Protestant denomination in the U.S. taking a position against same-sex "marriage" in civil society. United Methodism already has a policy, like other denominations, prohibiting same-sex unions in its own churches but had not previously addressed the issue of marriage in civil law.

Tooley, who is a United Methodist layman in Northern
Virginia, submitted the legislation on marriage.

"Marriage as the union of one man and one woman is not a sectarian or partisan issue," Tooley commented. "It is an innate part of God's creation and organic to every culture. The United Methodist Church, in approving this stance, was faithful to the beliefs of most church members, faithful to its Wesleyan traditions, and faithful historic teachings of universal church."

Thanks to Bill who forwarded this to me. I've seen it already and been researching some other items with respect to the Conference, but since he sent it, before I posted, I figure I have to give him credit. Rock on Bill. I can't tell you how pleased I am with this, and a few other developements. The language that was exploited by the fools in the Pac Northwest Conference was changed and now the code is even more strict. The votes on accepting practicing gays into the clergy were laughable. The support for such a change if anything, is losing support. Which is good, especially considering it never had much support in the Conference anyway.

Looks like I'm still a Methodist. w00t!

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