About a year ago I shared a presentation about the dynamics present in the General Conference of the United Methodist Church related to the questions of whether the church should offer marriage rites to homosexual couples and whether ordination should be available to self-avowed, practicing homosexual persons. I wrote this presentation up, added the slides and included it in this blog. In the year since, many people have asked me for the slides but have been disappointed that the presentation was not available in video form. This video is offered to those of you who want to see it or share it with others. Feel free to show it to groups or share the link with others who would find it of interest.
I just watched the video and realized that I have made a technical error. Over time, Lesbian and Gay inclusion (LG) has become LGBT (Bi-sexual and Transgender) inclusion. More recently this acronym has included Queer persons (LGBTQ). You will sometimes see it listed as LGBTQ+. Working on the Commission on the Way Forward, gay members have encouraged us to say, “issues of LGBTQ inclusion” rather than “issues of human sexuality.” We have adopted this practice. I use this language in the video because it has become my habit. However, I realize that it is technically incorrect when speaking about the United Methodist Book of Discipline, which only addresses inclusion of self-avowed, practicing homosexual persons in marriage rites and ordination. I apologize for any misunderstanding this may create and I am grateful for the grace you offer me in this area. I also trust that the good readers of this occasional blog are more than capable of doing the translation.
I also want to emphasize that the four zones I present here are offered only for the purpose of conversation about inclusion in marriage and ordination. Just because you are a progressive or traditionalist on these issues does not mean you will be predictably that way on all social issues. We are intelligent people and no one likes to be put in an ideological box. Finally, this schema is applied only to United Methodists in the United States. At the end of the presentation I talk about United Methodists who live in Africa and Asia as well.