From Feb. 23-26, United Methodist leaders from around the world met in St. Louis, MO to discuss changing their discipline to openly allowing gay marriage and LGBT+ clergy within the Methodist faith. Many United Methodist youths were nervous as to what this vote would bring for the future of the church.
Unfortunately, the church voted to not change their discipline and even created a disaffiliation plan for members previously of the church to leave their ties. It was a disappointing blow, to say the least. The Methodist denomination of Christianity bases its beliefs on being openly welcoming and accepting, and the leaders have failed that mission in today’s world. Outside the conference building, protesters demonstrated for the open inclusion of LGBT+ members. Many of the youth, and even older members of the church, have made their displeasure at the leaders’ decision known through social media and petitions that went around before the vote took place. The Methodist church has an article detailing what happened at the conference on their official page, and they have stated that LGBT+ people are still welcome within the church body. The discipline has not explicitly prohibited same-sex marriage nor gay clergy, however some activist groups feel it is not enough.
While things are fairly settled at the moment, LGBT+ people of the Methodist faith have a lot to think about concerning the churches they attend. It is entirely up to the individual church and pastor (which does get switched every so often, like Catholicism) to decide whether or not they allow same-sex marriage or clergy as part of the One Church Plan. Depending on the area this church is in, they may not feel safe or welcome. In future conferences and meetings of United Methodist leaders, they will certainly be feeling the pressure to make these changes.