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Items Tagged "Homosexuality"

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Sharing in Faith: Serving divided church is increasingly difficult

“We are treated to a smorgasbord of eternal truth, but some, like spoiled children, refuse to eat their veggies.” Read More

Sharing in Faith: Revelation in a hospital waiting room

“Keith had lived with what was then considered a death sentence, and he hadn’t been able to share that with his own family.” Read More

Sharing in Faith: I left The United Methodist Church … then met Brian and Joe

“My eyes were pried wide open. The church has been blind to a host of sexual issues.” Read More

Sharing in Faith: Authority, unity and grace

“How we deal with controversies and differences of opinion says a lot about our view of the church, and our unity and covenant fellowship. “ Read More

First United Methodist Church at the Chicago Temple has affirmed a marriage-equality proposal to give pastors a choice in whether to perform same-gender marriages.

Historic Chicago church OKs same-sex unions

Chicago Temple also pledges to financially support its pastors if they face complaints for violating church law on such unions. Read More

Sharing in Faith: I had to trust God’s word

“A war was raging in my heart, and my soul was dying. I was living a life that asked God to conform to my sense of morality.” Read More

Sharing in faith: Reflections on the struggle to become an inclusive church

“I have long been convinced that rational thought is important in overcoming the ‘we’ and ‘they’ syndrome.” Read More

The Rev. Rob Renfroe. Photo courtesy of Good News

Group to bishops: Enforce rules on homosexuality

Traditionalists say proposed “amicable separation” for The United Methodist Church is off the table for now. Read More

Sharing in Faith: Be not anxious

“I talk to many of our clergy and laity who are quite concerned about where our church is going and what the future holds for us.” Read More

Photo by Hidesy /

Personal Perspectives on Homosexuality and the Church

The topic can be challenging for people of faith. Read a variety of first-person reflections, meant to help us understand one another better. More

Sharing in faith: My life with Joe

“He believed that his love for me, and mine for him, would make him straight, and together we could have the life he dreamed of.” Read More

Sharing in Faith: Listening across the divide

“I realized a long time ago that my feelings and opinions about sexuality issues don't have that much to do with sexual minorities at all.” Read More

Sharing in faith: Sexuality and The United Methodist Church

“This issue concerns me because I think it matters how we come to the table to talk about sexuality.” Read More

Sharing in Faith: Did the conflict begin with ‘the language’?

“My emotions consisted of concern for the viability of The United Methodist Church as a Christian denomination in a rapidly changing world.” Read More

Sharing in faith: Do we live by grace or by the law?

“What concerns me really isn’t so much what is one’s individual theological position, or what is or isn’t sin or correct biblical interpretation.” Read More

Sharing in faith: Why I support the church’s traditional stance on human sexuality

“Allow me to share some of my experience as a pastor and teacher in the church with regard to contested issues around sexuality.” Read More

Sharing in Faith: United or untied?

“I dug a little deeper to see what the Bible says about homosexuality, and I was surprised by what I found.” Read More

Sharing in faith: Jesus is love

“Never in a million years could I have foreseen the anguish that I would experience as a pastor because of the church’s struggles with human sexuality.” Read More

Sharing in faith: My friend Alex

"As Alex shared his struggles, we followed our natural impulse: we opened our Bibles." Read More

What unites us

From ministries of compassion to our faith in Jesus Christ, Mike Coyner invites us to focus on our commonalities rather than our differences. Read More

DVD cover of

Video Resource: Christian Conversations about Homosexuality

"Can we talk...?" features presentations and personal stories along with materials designed to get church members talking. More

Frank Schaefer talks to press after hearing. Photo by Melissa Lauber, Baltimore-Washington Conference

Schaefer awaiting decision in appeal of credentials

Frank Schaefer, former United Methodist pastor, seeking to regain ministerial credentials after 2013 church trial. Read More

Rev. Frank Schaefer serves Communion to his supporters at the end of his two-day church trial held Nov. 18-19, 2013 in Spring City, Penn.

Appeal hearing set this week in Schaefer case

The Committee on Appeals of the Northeastern Jurisdiction of The United Methodist Church will convene June 20 at Baltimore-Washington Airport Marriott to hear appeal from pastor on loss of ministerial credentials. Read More

Church members pray over the Rev. Adam Hamilton. Photo by Sam Hodges, UMNS

Support, pushback for `local option’ on homosexuality

Proposal by the Rev. Adam Hamilton and others criticized as eroding connectionalism and merely shifting conflict. Read More

Human Sexuality Backgrounder

Persons of sacred worthThe United Methodist Church affirms “that sexuality is God’s good gift to all persons. We call everyone to responsible stewardship of this sacred gift.”This affirmation begins the denomination’s statement, “Human Sexuality,” in the Social Principles. It is one of several statements in the... Read More

Church members pray over the Rev. Adam Hamilton. Photo by Sam Hodges, UMNS

Hamilton: Church homosexuality law needs ‘local option’

A well-known United Methodist pastor and author looks for way to hold the denomination together amid tensions. Read More

Wordle by Kathleen Barry, UMNS

Poll: Making disciples tops sexuality as church priority

A survey of United Methodists found sexual orientation and same-gender marriage ranked eighth in importance among issues facing the church. Read More

The 2010 U.S. Census data helps United Methodist  church leaders know the people in their community. A UMNS photo illustration by Kathleen Barry. Accompanies UMNS story #054. 3/22/11.; A UMNS photo illustration by Kathleen Barry

Updated: North Georgia clergy, laity take stand against schism

More than 580 have signed the covenant for unity, amid disagreements about homosexuality and other issues. Read More

United Methodist Bishop Rueben P. Job discusses his book,

Bishops seek to help church ‘find way’ on homosexuality

In a new book, 8 United Methodist bishops share their thoughts on various ways forward for the denomination in the longtime dispute. Read More

A UMNS photo illustration to accompany a story on aging clergy.  Featured are a Bible, The 2012 Book of Discipline, and The United Methodist Book of Worship. Accompanies UMNS story #135. 4/26/13; A UMNS photo illustration by Kathleen Barry

Featured Topic: Homosexuality

Learn more about the official position of the church, read personal opinions and view other resources and headlines on the subject of sexuality. More

A group of pastors says it's time to consider breaking up The United Methodist Church, due to divisions over homosexuality and other issues.

Amicable breakup of UMC needed, pastor group says

UMC should own up to divisions over homosexuality and other issues, pastors’ group says. Read More

Video image of Bishop John Schol from statement about the church's handling of homosexuality issues.

Video Message from Bishop John Schol

Emotional statement about how the church handles issues related to homosexuality is an example of the difficulty of this issue for church leaders and members. View

Photo by Dave Sanders

Complaint ends against elder accused of being ‘practicing’ lesbian

This marks the second time in 2014 a complaint in the New York Annual (regional) Conference related to the church's homosexuality stance has been resolved without a trial. Read More

Retired Bishop Daniel C. Arichea Jr. describes his personal journey during an online dialogue on human sexuality, held April 29 by the United Methodist Connectional Table. Bishop Hope Morgan Ward listens.

United Methodist body considers change to sexuality stance

The Connectional Table hosted the first of a series of online dialogues to gather input on human sexuality issue. Read More

Scoutmaster Geoffrey McGrath walks with Davonn Abaga and Denzel Abaga, two members of the Cub Scout pack, during an outing to Mount Rainier National Park. Photo by Nguyen Truong, Cubmaster.

Updated April 21: Church stands with gay scout leader

April 8, 2014

Rainier Beach United Methodist Church will continue to support Scoutmaster banned by the National Council of Boy Scouts of America because he is gay. Read More

The Rev. Thomas Lambrecht arrives on June 21, 2011, for the start of the Rev. Amy DeLong's church trial at Peace United Methodist Church in Kaukauna, Wis. Lambrecht is now the vice president and general manager of Good News, an unofficial United Methodist renewal group. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS.

Church situation on gay unions ‘untenable,’ group says

Good News says it 'may not be wise to pretend any longer that we are one' church. Others says schism avoidable. Read More

Photo by Sam Hodges, UMNS.

Supervisory response under way for Dallas pastor

North Texas bishop confirms action after retired pastor performs same-sex union, a violation of the Book of Discipline Read More

Photo by Sam Hodges, UMNS

Dallas pastor faces complaint for same-sex service

Complaint refers to March 1 same-sex ceremony where the Rev. William McElvaney officiated. Read More

Photo by Kathy L. Gilbert, UMNS

Panel to hear Frank Schaefer’s appeal

Northeastern Jurisdiction Committee on Appeals can sustain the findings, reverse the penalty in whole or in part or remand the case to a new trial. Read More

Photo by  Laura Rossbert, Reconciling Ministries Network.

Updated March 14: Same-sex union complaints filed against bishop

Wedding of two men in Birmingham, Ala., last year prompted action, which is now before Western Jurisdiction. Read More

Photo by Joanne Utley

New York Conference court resolves Ogletree case

New York Area Bishop McLee asks that trials of pastors who perform same-sex weddings stop as action against retired seminary dean ends. Read More

Photo by Joanne Utley

Updated March 12: Hope and dismay at resolution of same-sex wedding case

Decision by New York Conference to take a different path to resolution of Ogletree same-sex wedding complaint finds reactions mixed. Read More

Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS

Leaders of 2 agencies decry laws targeting gays

Tough new laws against homosexuality in Uganda and other countries will lead to "marginalization, harassment, and exploitation in our global civil society," some United Methodist leaders are saying.  Read More

The Rev. William McElvaney, seated, defied United Methodist Church law by presiding at the Saturday, March 1 wedding of George Harris and Jack Evans. The service was at Midway Hills Christian Church in Dallas. UMNS Photo by Sam Hodges

Dallas pastor conducts same-sex service

The Rev. William McElvaney, a retired pastor and seminary president, followed through Saturday, March 1, on his earlier promise to defy United Methodist Church law by presiding at a same-sex union.McElvaney, 85, conducted a wedding for George Harris, 80, and Jack Evans, 84. The men have been partners for 53 years and are longtime... Read More

Photo by Sam Hodges, UMNS

Age no obstacle in Dallas same-sex wedding

Two men, partners for 53 years, are to be wed Saturday by a retired United Methodist pastor in Dallas, despite church law. Read More

Photo courtesy of Jane Bonner.

Sister believes in Jesus’ love for lesbian sibling

Jane Bonner is certain her sister is in heaven. Just as certain as she is that a “gay lifestyle” was not what God wanted for her sister. Read More

The 2012 edition of The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church. A UMNS photo by Mike DuBose.

2 clergy face 24-hour suspension for gay weddings

The decision, approved by Greater Northwest Area Bishop Grant Hagiya, is an indication of just how varied responses can be across the church. Read More

The Rev. Thomas Ogletree.

Updated: Church trial postponed for theologian

A retired elder in the New York Annual Conference will face a church trial for officiating at the same-sex wedding of his son. Read More

The 2012 edition of The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church states in paragraph 304.3 that

What is the denomination’s position on homosexuality?

Learn more about the denomination's position on homosexuality. Read More

Previous Frank Schaefer Coverage

The United Methodist pastor was asked to surrender his clergy credentials after a church trial for officiating at his son’s same-sex nuptials. Read continuing coverage of the response to this high-profile case. Visit Site

2013: Same-sex wedding issues abound

Weddings and trials sound disharmony for The United Methodist Church as it ends a year that included two well-publicized same-sex weddings and a high-profile church trial for a pastor who officiated at his son’s same-sex nuptials. Read More

Council of Bishops Takes Action Following Same-Gender Ceremony

Following the action of a retired bishop to conduct a same-gender ceremony in violation of church law, the United Methodist Council of Bishops took a series of actions to address the issue during their annual meeting this week in Lake Junaluska, N.C. Read More

Bishops called to embrace ‘team spirit’

Despite differences, bishops urged to remember they 'depend on one another to be faithful to God's mission.' Read More

Executive Committee Issues Statement on Same Gender Ceremony Planned by Bishop Talbert

Retired United Methodist Bishop Melvin G. Talbert has announced plans to conduct a same gender marriage ceremony on Saturday, October 26, 2013, in Birmingham, Alabama. The Executive Committee of the United Methodist Council of Bishops has issued a statement. Read More

Bishop rules on gay clergy candidate

Dorff says question of whether the board of ordained ministry acted properly in discontinuing candidacy is "moot and hypothetical." Read More

U.S. court rulings impact same-sex couples

This morning's U.S. Supreme Court decisions likely will intensify United Methodists' ongoing debate about human sexuality. Read More

Door open to Southern Baptist Scout groups

United Methodist Men responds to Baptist action to support church and families that want to cut ties to Boy Scouts. Read More

Furor over block to gay clergy candidate

Bishop asked to rule on due process in case of Texas woman who had completed steps toward ordination when she came out as lesbian. Read More

Boy Scouts lift ban on gay members

Leaders voted on proposal that retained prohibition on gay adult leaders. Decision affects United Methodist ministries. Read More

Theologian charged for same-sex wedding

The Rev. Thomas Ogletree, a retired seminary dean known for his work on Christian ethics, presided over the wedding of his son. Read More

Church says no I do’s until all can marry

North Carolina church will still offer premarital counseling and blessings, but no weddings until denomination allows same-sex marriage. Read More

Men’s leaders urge Scouts to delay change

Letter to Boy Scouts of America says United Methodist churches need more time to research implications of ending gay ban. Read More

Men’s leader affirms Scout decision delay

After more review, Boy Scouts of America says it will consider in May the issue of whether to end its ban on gay members and leaders. Read More

Men’s leader elaborates on scouting changes

United Methodist Men faced criticism after supporting a proposal to allow local groups to choose whether to have gay leaders and members. Read More

2 agencies agree with change in Boy Scout ban

Possibility of ending ban on gay scouts and leaders more consistent with church law, say United Methodist Men and Church and Society. Read More

Swift reaction to bishop’s gay marriage stand

Chicago Area bishop's support of Illinois marriage legislation brings comments from all perspectives in the same-sex civil union debate. Read More

Same-sex unions gain support in U.S. elections

United Methodists were on both sides of the issue Nov. 6 as the vote in four states indicated support for same-sex unions. Read More

The 2012 State of the Church Report focuses on Vital Congregations

Responding to the call for more vital congregations in The United Methodist Church Read More

Top court has full docket this week

Among 18 items to be considered by United Methodist Judicial Council are guaranteed clergy appointments. Read More

Black caucus ‘stands with’ Bishop Talbert

Statement responds to a letter asking for public censure of a retired bishop for remarks urging clergy to stand firm on same-sex union pledge. Read More

Bishop accused of urging disobedience

Letter asks bishops to 'publicly censure' retired Bishop Melvin Talbert for his advocacy for gay marriage. Talbert stands by his statements. Read More

Western Jurisdiction: Gay issue stand wrong

Grassroots movement OK'd to challenge bishops, clergy, laity, local churches to operate as if law book statement "does not exist." Read More

Conferences reject church’s stance on gays

Rejecting the denomination's stance on gay rights and same-sex marriage were important issues for at least 15 annual conferences. Read More

Same-sex union trial controversy continues

A year after proceeding against Wisconsin elder, bishop asked to rule on legality of clergy covenant plan the Rev. Amy DeLong proposed. Read More

Conferences voice support for gays

United Methodists are meeting in annual conferences this summer to decide policy and budgets for their regions. Read More

12 lessons from 12 General Conferences

Rich Peck has seen a lot of history and worn a lot of hats in five decades attending General Conference. Read More

Bishops Judith Craig (left), Scott Jones (behind Craig) and Rosemarie Wenner (center) negotiate with the Rev. Amy DeLong, after dozens of demonstrators demanding a more inclusive church took over the floor of a May 3 session of the 2012 United Methodist General Conference in Tampa, Fla. The three bishops talked with DeLong in an attempt to resolve the situation without resorting to arrests.

Bishops close, reopen General Conference session

After presiding bishop threatened to close GC2012 plenary sessions to visitors, cooler heads prevailed. Read More

Council of Bishops President Rosemarie Wenner of Germany tells dozens of demonstrators for full inclusion of gays and lesbians in The United Methodist Church that the denomination's bishops feel their pain. Several dozen demonstrators took over the plenary floor of the 2012 United Methodist General Conference in Tampa, Fla., on May 3 after the body reaffirmed the church's stance on homosexuality.

May 3 wrap: Gay rights protest closes morning session

A morning of tense debate leads to a demonstration preventing GC2012 delegates from doing their work. Read More

Demand for inclusiveness

Delegates cannot agree they disagree on sexuality

After more than an hour of debate and disagreement, two items stating Christians have different opinions about homosexuality were not approved. Read More

Protestation des homosexuels à la Conférence Générale 2012

Ce jeudi 26 avril 2012 a eu une démonstration de présence active et participative pendant les assises de la 26e session de la conférence générale par les gays et les lesbiennes réclamant leur pleine intégration dans la vie... Read More

A quiet demonstration in support of full inclusion of gays and lesbians in the life of The United Methodist Church occurs as delegates and visitors leave the April 26 plenary session of the 2012 General Conference in Tampa, Fla.

GC2012: Holy conversations have unintended effect

About 300 demonstrate in response to treatment of people during some sessions on human sexuality. Read More

Delegates to the 2012 United Methodist General Conference in Tampa, Fla., are sitting at round tables for the first time, a step designed to encourage better discussion of issues facing the the denomination's top legislative body. Meeting once every four years, General Conference is the only body that can speak as The United Methodist Church.

April 27 wrap: First step to set-aside bishop

Legislative committee seeks plenary session approval of a set-aside bishop as other committees forward recommendations. Read More

GC2012: Will the UMC say ‘I do’ to all?

United Methodists once more will take up denomination's ban on gay clergy and same-sex marriages as lawmaking body meets. Read More

GC2012: Where views on marriage differ

Lawmaking body will take up petitions that argue for traditional marriage between man and woman and petitions that urge a new definition. Read More

Ethnic groups add voices to inclusion calls

Caucuses lend support for full inclusion for LGBT persons: "We know what it is like to experience discrimination." Read More

Bishops vow to uphold same-sex union ban

Council of Bishops' letter is first response after statements by United Methodist clergy willing to bless such unions and by clergy opposed. Read More

Bishops react to homosexuality statement

Some urge prayer and dialogue. Others express disappointment. Still others support a call to lift ban on gay clergy. Read More

Bishops face challenge on same-sex unions

In states where gay marriage is legal, United Methodist leaders focus on upholding church law while encouraging dialogue and respect. Read More

Opposition to Homophobia and Heterosexism

Therefore, be it resolved, that The United Methodist Church strengthen its advocacy of the eradication of sexism by opposing all forms of violence or discrimination based on gender, gender identity, sexual practice, or sexual orientation.... Read More

Church to Be in Ministry to Persons of All Sexual Orientations

That The United Methodist Church dedicate itself to a ministry of Christ-like hospitality and compassion to persons of all sexual orientations, and to a vision of unity through openness to the spiritual gifts of all those who have been baptized into the Body of Jesus Christ. Read More

Teen Sexual Identity and Suicide Risk

A 1989 US Department of Health and Human Services study found that teens dealing with issues of sexual identity are two to three times more likely to attempt suicide than are other youth. Read More

Gay rights supporters react tearfully to an April 30 vote at the 2008 United Methodist General Conference, retaining the church's position that the practice of homosexuality is

United Methodists uphold homosexuality stance

After forceful arguments on both sides, delegates retain language in the denomination's Book of Discipline. Read More

Susan Laurie (left) and Julie Bruno lead a procession through the Fort Worth Convention Center, site of the 2008 United Methodist General Conference, on the way to their marriage ceremony across the street in General Worth Square.

Same-sex couple says ‘I do’ outside church assembly

Days after their church upheld its position against same-sex unions, two women join in a marriage ceremony. Read More

The Rev. Troy Plummer of the Reconciling Ministries Network speaks at a press conference after a time of witness on the floor of the 2008 United Methodist General Conference. Bishops Sally Dyck and Scott Jones also participate

‘Christian conferencing’ follows demonstration

Bridge building before General Conference facilitates conversation in the midst of pain. Read More

Supporters of full inclusion for gays and lesbians in The United Methodist Church drape the central table in black cloth during a demonstration on the floor of the 2008 United Methodist General Conference in Fort Worth, Texas.

Demonstrators call church’s ‘anti-gay’ policies sinful

Witness asks General Conference to recognize and acknowledge that "the body is broken." Read More

The Revs. James Lawson (left) and Gil Caldwell answer questions during an April 27 panel discussion hosted by Soulforce, an interfaith gay rights network.

Black civil rights veterans advocate inclusion

James Lawson and Gil Caldwell say there are parallels between blacks' struggles in the 1960s and those of gays and lesbians today. Read More

Supporters of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender inclusion in The United Methodist Church pray as delegates to the denomination's 2008 General Conference walk to legislative committee rooms.

Rally urges inclusion regardless of sexual identity

Young speakers address a rally of more than 200 people supporting inclusion of gays and lesbians in the church. Read More

Judicial Council Hearing Set for October 27 in Houston

The Judicial Council of The United Methodist Church will hear oral arguments in three cases from its fall docket. Read More