The Latest: Methodist conference rejects same-sex marriage
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The Latest on The United Methodist Church’s deliberations on LGBT inclusion (all times local):
Delegates to a crucial conference of The United Methodist Church, America’s second-largest Protestant denomination, have rejected a move to ease the faith’s ban on same-sex marriage and ordination of LGBT clergy.
Some supporters of greater LGBT inclusion were in tears, while others vented their anger after delegates, on a 449-374 vote, defeated a proposal that would have let regional and local church bodies decide for themselves on gay-friendly policies.
Methodist pastor Rebecca Wilson of Detroit, who is gay, says she is devastated by the vote.
The United Methodist Church teetered on the brink of breakup Monday after more than half the delegates at an international conference voted to maintain bans on same-sex weddings and ordination of gay clergy.
Their favored plan, if formally approved, could drive supporters of LGBT inclusion to leave America’s second-largest Protestant denomination.
A final vote on rival plans for the church’s future won’t come until Tuesday’s closing session, and the outcome remains uncertain. But the preliminary vote Monday showed that the Traditional Plan, which calls for keeping the LGBT bans and enforcing them more strictly, had the support of 56 percent of the more than 800 delegates attending the three-day conference in St. Louis.