On the persistent question of whether churches should tolerate same-sex intimacy by any of its ministers, opponents won a series of victories in May as United Methodists met in Pittsburgh. If anything, the second-largest U.S. Protestant denomination strengthened its resolve against ordaining openly gay ministers.
Seeking a small concession, gay rights activists had hoped delegates would officially acknowledge three decades of differences by formally agreeing on this point: “We recognize that Christians disagree on the compatibility of homosexual practice with Christian teaching.” The proposal failed 572-423.
On the same day, May 4, delegates defeated by a 2-to-1 margin a resolution that would have allowed regional Methodist bodies to decide for themselves whether gay or lesbian ministers could be ordained. Another vote (674-262) restated a ban on any clergyperson who is found to be a “self-avowed practicing homosexual.”