What is the denomination's position on homosexuality?

The Book of Discipline contains the rules that guide The United Methodist Church. Only General Conference can change the book, which is revised after each meeting of the conference. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS.
The Book of Discipline contains the rules that guide The United Methodist Church. Only General Conference can change the book, which is revised after each meeting of the conference. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS.

Only the General Conference speaks for The United Methodist Church. When the lay and clergy delegates to General Conference approve a statement, it is published in the Book of Discipline and/or the Book of Resolutions. These words come from the people of The United Methodist Church.

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Social Principles

2016 Book of Discipline Statements

Regarding church membership

  • ¶ 4. Article IV. Inclusiveness of the Church: The United Methodist Church acknowledges that all persons are of sacred worth. All persons without regard to race, color, national origin, status, or economic condition, shall be eligible to attend its worship services, participate in its programs, receive the sacraments, upon baptism be admitted as baptized members, and upon taking vows declaring the Christian faith, become professing members in any local church in the connection.
     
  • ¶ 214. Eligibility: All people may attend its worship services, participate in its programs, receive the sacraments and become members in any local church in the connection (¶ 4). .

Regarding the ministry of the ordained

  • ¶ 304.3: The practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching. Therefore self-avowed practicing homosexuals are not to be certified as candidates, ordained as ministers, or appointed to serve in The United Methodist Church. View full statement.
     
  • ¶ 341.6: Ceremonies that celebrate homosexual unions shall not be conducted by our ministers and shall not be conducted in our churches.
     
  • ¶ 2702: Chargeable Offenses

Regarding United Methodist funds

  • ¶ 613: The [conference council on finance and administration] shall have authority and responsibility to .... ensure that no annual conference board, agency, committee, commission, or council shall give United Methodist funds to any gay caucus or group, or otherwise use such funds to promote the acceptance of homosexuality or violate the expressed commitment of The UMC "not to reject or condemn lesbian and gay members and friends" (¶ 161F). .
     
  • ¶ 806.9: [The General Council on Finance and Administration] shall be responsible for ensuring that no board, agency, committee, commission, or council shall give United Methodist funds to any gay caucus or group, or otherwise use such funds to promote the acceptance of homosexuality or violate the expressed commitment of The United Methodist Church 'not to reject or condemn lesbian and gay members and friends' (¶ 161F).

(From The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church — 2016. Copyright 2016 by The United Methodist Publishing House. Used by permission.)

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