The United Methodist Church is now literally divided over the matter of same-sex marriage. Leaders of the Church announced a plan to formally split into two denominations in a nine-page document released Friday.
The proposal, hoping to achieve "reconciliation and grace through separation," creates a new "Traditionalist Methodist" denomination that would uphold the ban on same-sex marriages and the ordination of LGBT clergy.
This fracture within the church will restructure the nation's second-largest Protestant denomination. This news is not entirely shocking, since a heated global conference took place last February, and leaders voted to reinforce the ban on gay marriage, CNN noted. The continued internal debate since then made a separation seem almost inevitable.
Subscribe to The Week
Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.
A representative of the group in opposition to same-sex discrimination, Rev. Thomas Berlin said of the schism: "the solution that we received is a welcome relief to the conflict we have been experiencing," reports The New York Times. "I am very encouraged that the United Methodist Church found a way to offer a resolution to a long conflict," said Berlin, who was part of the 16-member group who signed the proposal.
New York Conference Bishop Thomas Bickerton, also a member of the group, told The United Methodist News Service, "It became clear that the line in the sand had turned into a canyon. The impasse is such that we have come to the realization that we just can't stay that way any longer."
Create an account with the same email registered to your subscription to unlock access.