ST. LOUIS, Mo. — Delegates at the United Methodist Conference voted on Tuesday to retain the denomination’s ban on officiating or hosting same-sex “weddings” and ordaining practicing homosexuals.
According to reports, three plans had been presented for selection: The “Traditional Plan,” which retains the current prohibitions; the “One Church Plan,” which would have allowed each individual congregation to decide for itself whether or not to make the allowances—with the exception of ordination, which would be left up to each regional conference; and the “Simple Plan,” submitted by the Queer Clergy Caucus, which would have removed the prohibitions completely from the Book of Discipline.
Those attending the four-day General Conference Special Session ultimately voted down the One Church Plan and the Simple Plan, with votes of 436 to 386 and 494 to 323, respectively.
According to UM News, an effort was made on Tuesday to bring the One Church Plan back, but was unsuccessful, and “[a]fter hours of delaying tactics by opponents,” the Traditional Plan was brought up for a vote. It passed 438 to 384.
The move reportedly increases penalties for those who violate the Book of Discipline’s prohibition, but the United Methodist Judicial Council is to also review the plan for any segment that could infringe the denomination’s constitution.
Upon passage, supporters broke out into the hymn “Blessed Assurance.” Opponents began chanting and protestors were blocked from coming on to the floor.
The varying sides spoke ardently about their views throughout the special session.
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