United Methodist Church Clergy Announce Marriage Ministries for ALL
Read the full text of the statement and see a list of public signers.
Read a blog post about this decision on the HRC Blog
Dozens of United Methodist clergy released a public statement on Saturday, October 1, saying that they will preside at the marriages of loving couples who are prepared—regardless of gender. The movement began in June of 2011 at the annual session of the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference held in Salem, Oregon.
Since then, after careful consideration, seventy-two clergy (active and retired) risked sanction by the denomination for signing the statement titled, “We Will Not Discriminate in Our Ministries.” The United Methodist Church bans marriage for couples who are gay or lesbian.
The clergy statement says, “We are pastors given the responsibility to preach, teach, lead, counsel, conduct marriages and funerals, and offer the sacraments of baptism and communion. The Spirit of God calls us to affirm that we will not discriminate in the exercise of our pastoral duties.”
The clergy signers in Oregon and Idaho are part of a nationwide movement of more than 1,000 clergy who have signed similar statements. The statement affirms that those signing will not discriminate against prepared lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer couples seeking to be married. The United Methodist Church mandates that all persons are entitled to the ministries of the Church.
“Therefore, we joyfully pledge that we will meet, counsel and celebrate with any prepared couple who comes to us for Christian marriage,” according to the signed statement.
The announcement coincided with the beginning of an event on Saturday, Oct 1, called “A Spirituality of Justice – for times that try our souls,” sponsored by the Oregon-Idaho chapter of the Methodist Federation For Social Action at the Eugene First UMC, 1376 Olive St., Eugene, OR. The event covered a range of issues. The clergy coalition is an independent movement in harmony with the goals of MFSA.