United Methodist Conference to Feature ‘Queer Clergy’

The United Methodist Church’s general conference will have a “queer clergy” advocating for changes in the denomination’s stance on homosexuality.

The United Methodist Queer Clergy Caucus will be present at the UMC General Conference, scheduled to take place April 23-May 3 at the Charlotte Convention Center in Charlotte, North Carolina.

The caucus identifies its members as “lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex people who are called, commissioned, and ordained clergy in the United Methodist Church,” according to the group’s website.

The UMC Book of Discipline allegedly prohibits noncelibate homosexuals and bans the clergy from blessing same-sex unions, saying that homosexuality is “incompatible with Christian teaching.”

“There’s all sorts of caucuses that are formed, even though they may not be technically caucuses. Things like the United Methodist Association of Retired Clergy, or Mainstream United Methodist Church, which is advocating for changes in the Discipline,” United Methodist Bishop Thomas Bickerton, who serves as president of the UMC Council of Bishops, said.

“The restrictions on endorsing homosexuality have to do with what conferences and general agencies fund, not what various groups that are not a part of the structure of the United Methodist Church say or do or advocate,” he added.

Since 2019, approximately 7,500 congregations have left the UMC in response to the ongoing debate and the refusal of many progressive leaders to enforce the rules.

According to Advance Local, 45 congregations in Alabama and the Florida panhandle have filed a lawsuit against a Methodist bishop because they were unable to disaffiliate from the denomination, American Faith previously reported.

The disaffiliation agreement, as reported by KTVO, says that congregations voted to disaffiliate “for reasons of conscience regarding a change in the requirements and provisions of the Book of Discipline related to the practice of homosexuality or the ordination or marriage of self-avowed practicing homosexuals as resolved and adopted by the 2019 General Conference.”

Last year, a Methodist drag queen addressed children during a worship service.

The drag queen, Isaac Simmons, used “they/them” pronouns.”

Simmons told the congregation, “Doctrine without care only inflicts bloody wounds, and yet, we especially those of us with the privilege of Whiteness, of Cis-ness, and the privilege of the access to power must be willing to get uncomfortable,” adding, “The face of capitalism is poverty, it means death. It refers to the destruction of an individual person, people, culture, and tradition. That is, the goal of a theology of capitalism is the destruction of personhood, the prolongment of pain, and the dehumanization of worth.”