United Methodists punt on LGBT inclusion, reject divestment

In an effort to stave off a schism, the United Methodist Church deferred a decision on whether to allow same-sex marriage and accept LGBT clergy.

At the church’s General Conference, a gathering every four years to chart the course of the global denomination, held May 10–20 in Portland, Oregon, delegates rejected divestment from Israel and fossil fuels and celebrated the Imagine No Malaria campaign. The church also decided to withdraw from the Religious Coalition for Reproduc­tive Choice, a pro-abortion rights group, and the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, which critics see as anti-Israel.

In the church’s largest-ever global health initiative, United Methodists have raised $68 million of their $75 million goal for malaria prevention, treatment, and education in sub-Saharan Africa since 2008.