The United Methodist General Conference on Tuesday rejected a proposal that would have let churches officiate same-sex marriages and ordain LGBTQ clergy, reports CNN.
Delegates at a national conference rejected the “One Church” proposal in a 449-374 vote.
During the gathering of United Methodist delegates in St. Louis this week, the 800 members reportedly voted to instead push forward the “Traditional” plan, which reaffirms the church’s current beliefs and teachings.
Under the “Traditional” plan, as currently constituted, churches and clergy would have to affirm the church’s stance against gay marriage and non-celibate LGBT clergy by 2021 or face removal from the denomination. The United Methodist delegates are expected to vote on that plan later on Tuesday.
Several members from African nations stood on Tuesday to support the “Traditional” plan, saying it accords with scripture’s teachings on sexuality.
“Today the church in Africa is growing in leaps and bounds because we are committed to biblical Christianity,” said the Rev. Jerry Kulah, who is from Liberia. “You cannot be performing Christianity differently in America and Africa and suggest that we are one church.”
CNN reported that the more liberal churches will likely leave the Methodist denomination because of the decision.
“Many of us have members who are saying they will leave,” said Rev. Tom Berlin of Virginia, a member of the church’s legislative committee. “A virus of conflict will spread.”
“God weeps,” Reconciling Ministries, a pro-LGBTQ church group, tweeted after the decision to reject the “One Church” proposal. “The Spirit rages. The children of God are undefeated.”
We mourn that the minority report OCP did not pass to replace the TP.
— RMNetwork (@rmnetwork) February 26, 2019