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Methodist Court Rejects Moves to Support Gay Marriage, OKs Bush Library

(RNS) The United Methodist Church’s highest court has ruled that clergy may not officiate at same-sex unions, even in states where such marriages are legal, and gave the final OK for the George W. Bush Library to be built at Southern Methodist University.
The church’s nine-member Judicial Council rejected separate resolutions passed by the California-Nevada and California-Pacific Conferences that voiced support for clergy who officiate at such unions.
Last year, the 8.3 million-member church upheld rules in its Book of Discipline, or constitution, that Methodist churches cannot be used to host same-sex unions and clergy are prohibited from officiating at them.
The latest court ruling rejected a California-Nevada resolution that supported retired clergy who volunteered to conduct gay weddings, and a California-Pacific resolution upholding the “pastoral need and prophetic authority” of clergy to do so.
Between May and November, 2008, California allowed same-sex couples to marry until voters banned the practiced with a constitutional amendment.
“An annual conference may not legally negate, ignore or violate provisions of the Discipline with which they disagree, even when the disagreements are based on conscientious objections to the provisions,” the court ruled, according to United Methodist News Service.
In a separate case, the court said it found no reason to halt construction of the planned George W. Bush Presidential Center at the church-owned school in Dallas.
Critics contend the library complex and affiliated policy center will promote policies that the United Methodist Church officially opposed, including the Iraq War. The former president and his wife, Laura, are both United Methodists.
The court said there was nothing in the lease agreement with SMU that violated church law, United Methodist News Service reported.
By Kevin Eckstrom
Copyright 2009 Religion News Service. All rights reserved. No part of this transmission may be distributed or reproduced without written permission.

  • cknuck

    One good decision and one bad, not crazy about the Bush library.

  • MikeNYC

    Sad. Eventually the Methodist will see the error of their ways the same way they did in the south when they opposed mixed race marriage.

  • nnmns

    “An annual conference may not legally negate, ignore or violate provisions of the Discipline with which they disagree, even when the disagreements are based on conscientious objections to the provisions”
    It’s fine to conscientiously object as long as it’s not an objection to us.
    An all around bad day for the Methodists.

  • pagansister

    This news supports even more my decision 45 years ago to leave the Methodist church. They are so going in the wrong direction. Will have to ask my sister what she thinks of this. She still is an active member in the Methodist church. However I’m pretty sure she won’t agree with this ridiculus decision.

  • JohnQ

    I am not surprised by their decision on same-gender marriage.
    I am very disappointed by their decision on same-gender marriage.
    That said, I do respect their decision on same-gender marriage.
    I have no doubt they will soon see the light.
    On a related topic, the NH House has passed same-gender marriage legislation…which will now go back to the senate (which had approved it a couples weeks back) to approve again… that it has been altered by the house. However, it is not certain that their governor will sign it.
    New England is leading the way….I am sure most of our founding fathers would be proud.

  • Your Name

    JohnQ quote, “New England is leading the way….I am sure most of our founding fathers would be proud.”
    I doubt that would be true JQ. Was that humor?

  • cknuck

    sorry forgot to sign.

  • methodistsearching

    The court really can’t so anything other than what it did. It interpreted the issues in light of the existing Discipline.
    The Discipline is evaluated and discussed, voted on and changed every four years by the General Conference. The problem here is that, despite growing support for change in certain issues like Gay Marriage, the votes still come up short.
    All the court was doing was saying that a regional conference can’t go against the Discipline that was agreed upon by the General Conference.
    It’s got its deficiencies, but it’s a system that incorporates the viewpoints of its members, is open to change as we learn new things about proper interpretation of scripture, and also respects tradition.

  • jestrfyl

    We used to call it the Box Step – forward, side, back, side. It seems the Methodist Court has made it the reverse rectangle step – forward side, 2 steps back, side. O well, I am not at all surprised. I’ve said it before (though it makes ck choke), ya’ll wlecome to the UCC side of life. We’ll throw open the door and welcome you – including ck(especially)!

  • Tim

    What happened to biblical marriage, ie man and woman? No where in the bible is there either Jewish or Christian marriage any other way. The court was just following biblical prinicple.

  • m.e.graves

    I doubt that would be true JQ. Was that humor?
    Allowing Americans the right of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness? You’re absolutely right, George Washington must be turning in his grave…

  • cknuck

    m.e.g. quote “Allowing Americans the right of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness? You’re absolutely right, George Washington must be turning in his grave…”
    the right to life – huh?
    liberty, – huh?
    pursuit of happiness? there are a lot of things that make people happy, some are right and some aren’t.
    Your state makes about as much sense as G.W. actually turning in his grave.
    Because some want to change the definition of marriage has nothing to do with the constitution other than a vote is a vote, and less government more voting.

  • DavidKCMO

    All of you bigots who want to discriminate against hoomosexuals should spend one evening eating dinner with a gay headed household with kids in their home. Then in front of the whole family see if you can have the guts to tell them how you feel about the validity of their lives and if they deserve equality. It sure is easy to say these hateful things without actually doing it in a one on one situation.

  • cknuck

    David when would you like for me to start, the truth is the truth and not bigotry.

  • Billie

    The Bible is not the Constitutation. Civil rights have nothing to do with the Bible. Our founding fathers carefully established our government to separate “church” and “state”. Freedom of religion also includes the freedom “from” religion. You can disagree with anything you want, but the Bible does not write our laws…….

  • cknuck

    Billie quote: ” Our founding fathers carefully established our government to separate “church” and “state”.
    This is the kind of misinformation people love to use to propel their agendas. The fact is you have to know what church they were talking about and that it was more about separation from England than church. The Bible was part of school curriculum back then and church was held in the House of Reps and prayer in Congress. Stop the lies

  • pagansister

    Tim: It is fortunate that our laws are NOT founded on the bible. As religious as SOME of the Founders were supposed to be, they knew that freedom of religion and freedom from religion was very important. The Methodists are just not up to speed…sad to say, neither are many other religions.
    Separation of church and state is still the law, cknuck, which has nothing to do with the bible having been used 200 years ago and that church was held in the House and prayers in Congress. That was 200 year ago and probably more recently…unfortunately. We have no nationally dictated religion…or a government that tells us that in the public arena there has to be prayer before events. Separation…from religion…an excellent part of this great country.

  • Koutouan Simon Aouma

    The Methodist is a church whose principles are based on a bible teaching, and is a part Jesus Christ body which believe to one union
    blessed and ordained by God, that happen between Man and Woman.
    Why animal may be better than human God created at his image? To my knowledge I never, ever see two males, two females animals,same sex have sex.
    why humans have to do that? Is it because human is too intelligent than his Creator. homosexuality is durty and durty, unsain. United Methodist Church won’t buy or caution anything that make human sin.
    Homosexuality is an abomination.Those who bias with God by using the
    word inclusive to make place for gays and lesbiens and others may not be aware of Sodom and Gomorrhe.
    Once again I say the UMC won’t allow such thing to happen in church in order to keep away the Evil, the Devil and his adepts.

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