The United Methodist Church, the largest mainline protestant denomination in the US will split over same-sex marriage.
In 2019, the church tried to resolve differences between two opposing factions. One faction agitated for both same-sex marriage and LGBTIQ inclusion while the other opposed those reforms. Despite holding a conference in an attempt to resolve their differences, the two factions failed to reach an agreement.
Previously, the denomination decided to punish clergy who performed a same-sex marriage with a year’s loss of pay. Performing a second marriage would see clergymen dismissed. The agreement to split the church comes before the implementation of that policy.
Under a compromise facilitated by a mediation expert, the pro-same-sex marriage group will continue as the United Methodist Church. The faction opposed will form a new church.
As the third-largest denomination in the US, the United Methodist Church stood alone as the only protestant church refusing to perform same-sex marriages. It also refused to ordain LGBTIQ ministers.
In return for a payment of $25 million, the breakaway ‘traditional’ church will relinquish all claims on the United Methodist Church. The breakaway denomination will consist of some of the denomination’s US churches and most of the African.
The Wall Street Journal says the decision will go before a global summit for final approval. After that, the church will begin ordaining LGBTIQ clergy and conducting same-sex marriages.
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