United Methodist Church Says Measure Allowing Churches to Leave Denomination Over Its Stance on LGBT Issues Was Passed Through Improper Voting at General Conference

The United Methodist Church has found that a measure allowing churches to leave the denomination over its stance on LGBT issues was likely passed through improper voting.

A meeting of the Commission on General Conference held last week concluded that there was “credible objective evidence” that four people who were not eligible to vote on the gracious exit measure were able to cast a ballot, according to the United Methodist News Service.

This number is significant since the measure in question only passed by a two-vote majority, meaning that the vote might be nullified as a result.

Bishop Thomas J. Bickerton, who represented the Council of Bishops on the Commission and is head of the New York Conference, told UMNS that they were not releasing the names of those who voted despite being ineligible.

“When you are dealing with allegations, they may or may not be factual in nature so you don’t want to do any defamation of anyone’s character by inappropriately saying certain things,” stated Bickerton.

In February, the UMC held a special session of General Conference to try and resolve the mainline Protestant denomination’s longstanding debate on LGBT issues.

The delegates voted to uphold the denomination’s stance labeling homosexuality “incompatible with Christian teaching” and also passed measures meant to more strictly enforce rules against the ordination of noncelibate homosexuals and clergy performing same-sex weddings.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Michael Gryboski