TAMPA, FLORIDA, May 7, 2012, ( –  Members of the nation’s largest mainline Protestant church voted to maintain the doctrine that homosexual actions were “incompatible with Christian teaching” on Thursday.

The United Methodist Church voted down two proposals to water down its stance on homosexuality on Thursday. One proposal called homosexuals “people of sacred worth” and acknowledged differing viewpoints on the issue, while another said humans did not know enough about human sexuality to prefer one lifestyle over another.

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The Religion News Service reports after delegates defeated the pro-LGBT proposals, “gay rights activists flooded the assembly floor and disrupted the session by singing the hymn ‘What Does the Lord Require of You?’” They refused to honor Indiana Bishop Michael Coyner’s request to stop singing, forcing him to curtail that morning’s session.

The church’s position, enshrined in its Book of Discipline, conflicts with the words of one of the United Methodist Church’s most prominent members, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. 


Clinton said those who cite “religious or cultural values” that oppose homosexuality are “not unlike the justification offered for violent practices towards women like honor killings, widow burning, or female genital mutilation.”

Clinton has since placed normalizing homosexuality at the top of the U.S. foreign policy agenda.

The denomination’s more traditional members were overjoyed by the announcement.

“Thanks to its global membership, United Methodism uniquely is growing in members and rejecting liberal accommodation of secular Western culture, unlike declining U.S. mainline Protestant denominations,” Mark D. Tooley, president of Institute for Religion and Democracy, said.

Tooley, a longtime critic of the UMC’s liberal drift, said the million member denomination is “likely to have an African membership majority within a decade or so, United Methodism can anticipate a bright future ahead that is more tied to vibrant global Christianity than to dying liberal Protestantism in America.”

The United Methodist Church has 12 million members, 8 million in the United States.


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