LYNC Statement For Commission on the Way Forward

“The Love Your Neighbor Coalition believes that ubuntu and biblical principles should be applied to our current United Methodist struggle over the discrimination of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) persons.

For 45 years The United Methodist Church (UMC) has stated as its official belief that “homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching” and that marriage is only between a man and a woman. Subsequent additions have effectively sought to bar same-sex relationships and have taken increasingly punitive positions against any clergy or clergy candidates who are either in or seek to celebrate loving, same-sex relationships.

And for 45 years, LGBTQ+ United Methodists have been telling the church that these statements and policies contribute to the rejection, bullying and discrimination that such individuals experience in many societies. LGBTQ+ people commonly experience increased violence and threats of violence, murder, physical abuse by family members, being kicked out of homes, homelessness, bullying, harassment, spiritual violence, physical violence, verbal violence, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, employment discrimination, and housing discrimination around the world. Moreover, the corresponding trauma results in much greater incidents of depression, self-destructive behaviors, and suicide than that which is typically experienced by the rest of society.

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