Methodists Uphold Ban on Same-Sex Marriage

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (CNS) –The United Methodist Church’s Council of Bishops said they would continue to uphold the denomination’s ban on blessing same-sex unions.

“As the Council of Bishops we will uphold the Book of Discipline as established by General Conference,” the denominational assembly that meets every four years and is the church’s highest policymaking body, said the letter, which was addressed to all Methodists.

Paragraph 341.6 of the Book of Discipline says, “Ceremonies that celebrate homosexual unions shall not be conducted by our ministers and shall not be conducted in our churches.” The book also calls homosexuality “incompatible with Christian teaching” and bans its churches from host “ceremonies that celebrate homosexual unions.”

The bishops, again quoting the Book of Discipline, also said they “implore families and churches not to reject or condemn lesbian and gay members and friends,” saying they were committed to ministry “for and with all persons.”