Video: Behind Methodist Vote to Maintain Homosexuality as ‘Incompatible With Christian Teaching’

From Religion News Service, May 2:

Despite emotional protests and fierce lobbying, United Methodists voted on May 2 to maintain their denomination’s stance that the practice of homosexuality is “incompatible with Christian teaching.”

Two “agree to disagree” proposals were soundly defeated during separate votes by the nearly 1,000 delegates gathered for the United Methodist Church’s General Conference in Tampa, Fla.

One proposal would have replaced the “incompatible” phrase in the Book of Discipline, which contains the denomination’s laws and doctrines. Both proposals sought to soften the disputed doctrine by adding more ambiguous statements about homosexuality. Full article

After the defeat, Pastor Karen Oliveto of Glide Memorial United Methodist Church in San Francisco, who helped spearhead progressives’ attempt to change the status of gays and lesbians, told KQED’s Stephanie Martin the outcome was “devastating, because the reality at Glide is that we know that GLBT people are part of the fabric of the community.”

Now our friends at the Center For Investigative Reporting have posted a sort of mini-documentary on the Methodist proceedings, held in Tampa, Florida, and the battle that took place on the convention floor and behind closed doors. You’ll see the emotional debate that took place and how conservative delegates from Africa helped sink the proposal. Adithya Sambamurthy and Matt Smith’s report features Glide’s Oliveto, who was “bound and determined” to change the attitude of “one of the last mainline Protestant holdouts on the topic of homosexuality.”

You can read a script of the video at California Watch, or watch it below…


Jon Brooks

Jon Brooks writes mostly on film for KQED Arts. He is also an online editor and writer for KQED's daily news blog, News Fix. Jon is a playwright whose work has been produced in San Francisco, New York, Italy, and around the U.S.

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