After years of stalemate, the United Methodist Church is now inching towards inclusion, with the appointment of a commission of bishops to reassess the rules. This may look like a punt into the long grass, but it could be more. Unlike the Catholic Church, the Methodist bishops are generally more favourable to lgbt inclusion than the laity, and in other denominations, formal investigations or study groups have led to some degree of progress. Also, note that this specifically includes transgender, as well as gay and lesbian.
After 44 years of debating sexuality issues, the United Methodist Church voted by a narrow margin on Wednesday to allow bishops to appoint a commission to re-evaluate rules on gay, lesbian and transgender clergy and marriage.
The 428-to-405 vote by the delegates to the church’s quadrennial conference in Portland, Ore., was seen by many as a last-ditch effort to save the church from schism.
It was celebrated by L.G.B.T. Methodists and their supporters as a way to buy time and avoid church discipline against more than 100 clergy and clergy candidates who came out as gay in advance of the conference.
But it disappointed many conservatives who were exasperated that their church is still arguing over what they see as clear church teachings that prohibit openly gay and transgender clergy, and same-sex marriage.
Source: – The New York Times