The United Methodist Church has a 40-year ban on gay clergy

CBS News

The United Methodist Church overturned its 40-year ban on gay clergy Wednesday, during a meeting of the church’s top legislative body in Charlotte, North Carolina.
The church has long been divided into factions over its stance on homosexuality and gay clergy and even weighed splitting into two separate churches over the issue, CNN previously reported.
But Wednesday’s vote marked a dramatic shift in the United Methodist Church stance on homosexuality.
In a 692-51 vote the church’s legislative body passed several rules without debate, including overturning both its ban on gay clergy and the penalties for holding same-sex marriages, according to the United Methodist News service.
LGBTQ advocates within the church hailed the decision.
“We are no longer [saying] that being gay is a sin …and no longer ban LGBTQ from serving as ministers … Praise be to God.” According to the church’s news service, members cheered, cried and hugged after the vote.
“We’ve been going on like this since the ’70s and, finally, in just a brief few minutes with no debate, it was gone.
And now we can get on about the business of the church,” Marilyn Murphy, an observer from the church’s South Carolina conference, told the news service.


At a meeting of the church’s upper legislative body in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Wednesday, the United Methodist Church reversed its forty-year ban on gay clergy.

Due to disagreements within the church regarding homosexuality and gay clergy, there has long been division within the organization. As CNN previously reported, there were even discussions about the church possibly dividing into two distinct entities.

According to a timeline of the church’s history with the LGBTQ community, the church had prohibited clergy members who were “self-avowed practicing homosexuals” since 1984. Later, it added performing or celebrating same-sex unions to “a list of chargeable offenses that could result in a church trial.”.

However, the vote on Wednesday signaled a significant change in the United Methodist Church’s position on homosexuality.

The United Methodist News service reports that the church’s legislative body repealed its prohibition on gay clergy and the fines associated with same-sex marriages in a vote of 692-51 that took place without discussing the issues.

Advocates for LGBTQ people within the church applauded the ruling.

“I shed tears this morning because justice was served in a fight I’ve been fighting for a long time,” Pastor Matt Patrick wrote on X. “We’re not saying anymore that being gay is a sin, and we’re not preventing LGBTQ people from being ministers either. Thank God!”. “.

The church news service reported that following the vote, attendees hugged, cried, and cheered.

“We’ve been going on like this since the 1970s, and it finally vanished in a matter of minutes without any discussion. And now we can continue with the church’s business,” Marilyn Murphy, an observer from the conference in South Carolina, said to the news agency.

As the legislative conference progresses, more modifications are anticipated.

This narrative is still evolving. For the most recent updates, kindly return here.

scroll to top