United Methodists Lift Ban on LGBT Clergy

United Methodists lifted their ban against LGBT clergy members during its General Conference.

The ban was first established in 1984.

Church delegates repealed a ban prohibiting “self-avowed practicing homosexuals” from being ministers.

The final vote on the matter was 692-51.

The decision was celebrated.

“I did tear up this morning at the announcement of the vote because it was just a huge relief to see justice had been done after so many years,” said Matt Patrick, co-pastor of the University United Methodist Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma. “There’s just been a lot of pain in order to get us to this place.”

Patrick similarly wrote on X that “starting May 4, we no longer say that being gay is a sin…and no longer ban LGBT from serving as ministers,” adding, “Praise be to God.”

As the General Conference opened, attendees were told to avoid using “exclusively male language for God” and to “be conscious of inferred power dynamics.”

Since 2019, more than 7,000 churches have left the United Methodist Church over LGBT issues.

The Methodist Church of Great Britain has also instructed ministers to avoid using “hurtful language” such as “husband” and “wife.”

The changes to terminology are included in its “Inclusive Language Guide.”

According to the Methodist Church’s website, the guide helps one “understand why some words, phrases or images are offensive to other people.”

The denomination suggested using “parent,” “partner,” and “child” to ensure inclusivity and gender neutrality.

Church leaders were also told to use “anti-racist” language.

“It’s worth considering the need for the Church to take a restorative approach to any communication on the subject of racism, slavery, antisemitism and islamophobia and attempt to speak or write in a way that is not simply ‘not racist’ but is actively ‘anti-racist’,” the guide says. “Language is very powerful here. The words used to discuss power, privilege, racism and discrimination mean different things to different people. Language can uphold systems of white supremacy or encourage breaking it down or questioning it.”