Metro Weekly

111 Methodist clergy come out in a very public way

Self-outing occurs on the eve of the United Methodist Church convention in Oregon


“I feel lighter already. I can be a better pastor and a better person when I can be my full self, living in the light and with integrity.”

— Reverend Laura Young, a 48-year-old Methodist pastor in Ohio, to CNN. Young is one of 111 United Methodist Church clergy members who came out as gay, lesbian or bisexual earlier today in a letter posted online. In posting the public letter, the clergy defied the church’s ban on gays serving in the ministry, and noted that church rules force them to “hide from view our sexual orientations and gender identities.”

There are areas of the country where openly gay Methodist clergy can serve without repercussion, but this is seen as a potential threat to the unity of the church, which disallows it overall. “Many traditionalists in the church could not accept being part of a denomination that would reverse or abandon our denomination’s teaching on marriage and sexuality,” wrote Rev. Thomas Lambrecht in Good News, an online Methodist newsletter. “This is a recipe for schism or separation.”

The self-outing came the day before the UMC, among the nation’s largest Protestant denominations, holds its General Conference in Portland, Ore.


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