Church Seeks Removal of Discriminatory Language (Sign Our Letter!)

Dumbarton United Methodist Church today urged the bishop of the Baltimore Washington Conference to push for removal of language that discriminates against gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex and asexual people in the denomination.

 Looking toward a 2019 special conference in St. Louis, the activist Washington, D.C. church pleaded for support to stop prohibiting ordination of LGBTQIA people and same-gender weddings .

 “We believe that any language that explicitly or implicitly grants permission for some United Methodists to oppress and discriminate against LGBTQIA people is unacceptable and against the teachings of Jesus Christ,” the church said in a letter to Bishop LaTrelle Easterling.

 The church sees the special conference as a watershed event in Methodism. Though a full general conference is planned in 2020, the 2019 event is limited to receiving and acting on a report from the Council of Bishops based on the recommendations of the Commission on a Way Forward.

 Dumbarton hopes for a deletion of the language in the Book of Discipline that currently says: “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.” It also seeks the deletion of  “Ceremonies that celebrate homosexual unions shall not be conducted by our ministers and shall not be conducted in our churches,” also in the Book of Discipline.

 Dumbarton, whose pastor is the Rev. Mary Kay Totty, was one of the first Washington churches to openly welcome LGBT people more than 30 years ago and to support same-gender weddings eight years ago. The church said half-way measures aren’t enough.

 The letter said, “Incompatibility language is unacceptable, as is language along the lines of ‘people of good faith are of differing minds about the full inclusion of LGBTQIA people.’ We must state clearly and unequivocally that it is wrong to discriminate against LGBTQIA people.”

Full Text of the Petition

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