Elephant at the quadrennial

United Methodists confront gay issues

When United Methodist delegates take their seats at the church’s May 2-12 General Conference in Cleveland, they’ll be facing decisions on 2,500 or more pieces of legislation, including a far-reaching proposal to restructure the denomination. But during the 11-day marathon of “quadrennial madness,” the top governing body of the 8.5-million-member denomination won’t be able to ignore “the elephant in the living room”—the escalating disputes over the church’s stance toward homosexuals. Most other mainline Protestant denominations are also struggling with the issue.


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