In recent weeks, social justice has been taking a turn in favor of the LGBTQ community. This is great news, but what does it mean for the United Methodist Church?
First and foremost pastors in the UMC get to choose which couples they want to marry. This means they can perform a marriage ceremony for whomever they want. If a pastor doesn’t want to marry a couple, they do not have to, whether that be a heterosexual or homosexual couples. Secondly, state rules are important when getting married. If a state declares LGBTQ marriage legitimate, a pastor can perform the marriage ceremony, if they so choose to defy UMC church law.
The tagline of the United Methodist Church is “Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors”. Now that DOMA has been struck down, our tagline seems partially closed off. Christians are always talking about practicing what we preach, but if our hearts, minds, and doors were really open, we wouldn’t be turning people away from our churches. The people who have been turned away from our churches have seen the harm that has been done by being exclusive. The current generation of young people want the church to be accepting of all people; we do not see the need to hate anyone. After all, love is love.
There are various steps we can take as the Church to be more inclusive to the LGBTQ community. We need to apologize to those who have been hurt by or turned away from the church. Most United Methodists are accepting of people for who they are, no matter what. In addition, the church is a place for all people, regardless of sexual orientation or identity. After all, the church is a hospital of sinners, rather than a museum for saints. Lastly, it takes each of us to make a difference. One person’s words or actions can help spark change in the atmosphere to make the United Methodist Church as great as it possibly can be.
-Joint Post by Caitlin and Amy