United Methodist Church repeals ban on gay clergy, same-sex marriage

North Carolina - The United Methodist Church, which has some 10 million members around the world, repealed on Wednesday a ban on ordaining gay clergy and same-sex marriage.

The United Methodist Church, which has some 10 million members around the world, repealed on Wednesday a ban on ordaining gay clergy and same-sex marriage.
The United Methodist Church, which has some 10 million members around the world, repealed on Wednesday a ban on ordaining gay clergy and same-sex marriage.  © Unsplash/Alexander Grey

Church leadership approved the radical new moves in a 692-51 vote that occurred while they were at a conference held in North Carolina.

The church's monumental new vote removed its 1984 ban on the ordination of clergy who are "self-avowing practicing homosexuals."

It also decided that clergy who perform same-sex marriages would not be subject to any penalties, although clergy or churches that refuse to hold same-sex weddings would also not be punished.

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"Delegates and observers applauded after the vote," the church news agency said.

"Many hugged and more than a few cried, in a mass release of joy for those who had pushed, some for decades, to make The United Methodist Church fully inclusive," it added.

The LGBTQ moves have not been without controversy. Thousands of more conservative United Methodist congregations have left the denomination in the past few years over the issue.

About half of the church's global membership is in the United States.

Cover photo: Unsplash/Alexander Grey

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