Methodist court says no to clergy performing same-sex weddings

Judicial Council rejects resolutions by West-coast conferences
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.

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 denomination upheld rules in its Book of Discipline, or constitution, that Methodist churches cannot be used to host same-sex unions and that 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 practice with a constitutional amendment.


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