Talking points: Disciples vote on pro-gay resolution

In July, the general assembly of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) approved a resolution calling on the church in all its expressions to affirm the faith, baptism and spiritual gifts of everyone regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. This vote was timely given the Supreme Court’s recent decision on the Defense of Marriage Act, though the resolution doesn’t specifically mention same-sex marriage. Nor does it mention ordination—the other hot-button issue around sexuality in the church—though it does affirm that neither sexual orientation nor gender identity is “grounds for exclusion from fellowship or service within the church.”

This was a “sense-of-the-assembly” resolution, representing a majority of those gathered. Such resolutions are nonbinding on regions and local congregations—no policies were changed—and simply constitute a recommendation to the church. Each congregation is free to reject, adopt or ignore this as it sees fit.

I sometimes envy my ecumenical colleagues whose denominations have already fought this issue out, voted and moved on. They may have lost members and divided their ranks, but at least now they know where they stand. They ordain gay and lesbian people; they preside at gay weddings. Their denomination said it was okay.