United Methodist Church
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Bishop Melvin Talbert stood in front of a crowd of about 200 supporters of full inclusion on May 4 and called for United Methodists to join him in performing pastoral duties to gay and lesbian people, including enacting marriages. Bishop Talbert’s call for what he called “An Act of Biblical Obedience” has now resulted in letters from opponents of LGBT equality asking the United Methodist Church to censure Bishop Talbert. A handful of other bishops who stood with Bishop Talbert have also been targeted by the anti-LGBT group.
Supporters of LGBT inclusion in the United Methodist Church suffered a disappointing loss last week at the United Methodist Church General Conference. Supporters of full inclusion held a rally on Friday to celebrate the 1,200 United Methodists who have already pledged to fulfill their ordination vows to minister to all people. The rally also called for more United Methodists to pledge to support marriage equality.
Advocates for LGBT inclusion in the United Methodist Church lovingly confronted the dismissive and hurtful words, actions, and attitudes of anti-LGBT delegates at its General Conference. Retired bishops and African-American church leaders joined voices to call for the inclusion of LGBT people in the United Methodist Church, while advocates for full inclusion addressed the anti-LGBT statements and actions of conference delegates.
In preparation for the United Methodist General Conference 2012, which will take place April 24 through May 4 in Tampa, Florida, the Common Witness Coalition has released For Love of God and Neighbor: A Common Witness to General Conference 2012, a statement of inclusiveness that recognizes the intersections between equality for LGBT people and issues of “race, gender, global partnerships, peace, stewardship of creation and economic justice.”
The United Methodist Church, the second largest Protestant denomination in the United States, is the latest denomination to address the inclusion of LGBT people in the life of the church.