Plan with LGBT bans OK’d by United Methodist judicial panel

NEW YORK (AP) — The United Methodist Church’s judicial council has upheld major portions of a new plan strengthening bans on same-sex marriage and ordination of LGBT pastors.

Conservatives welcomed the decision Friday and said key elements of the policy, called the Traditional Plan, could begin taking effect in January.

Among liberal and centrist opponents of the plan, there was dismay. One group, Reconciling Ministries Network, called for an upsurge of resistance.

The Traditional Plan was adopted in February on 438-384 vote by delegates at a special UMC conference in St. Louis.

Most U.S.-based delegates opposed that plan and preferred LGBT-inclusive options, but they were outvoted by U.S. conservatives who teamed with most of the delegates from Methodist strongholds in Africa and the Philippines.

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