LGBTQ people gather for final demonstration

Where does a LGBTQ person go to church this Sunday?

That was a question posed by Sue Laurie after a large group of LGBTQ people circled the floor of the 2016 General Conference singing, “I am not forgotten, you are not forgotten, God knows your name."

At the end of closing worship, LBGTQ people flooded onto the floor of the conference and laid their stoles on the communion table in a last show of support for each other.

Laurie said the demonstrations were a final chance for LGBTQ people to surround and support each other before everyone leaves General Conference and returns to their local churches.

Susan Laurie, 21 years after answering God’s call to ministry, was unofficially ordained as a United Methodist pastor by a grassroots group of LGBTQ people and supporters at 10:32 a.m. on May 10 inside the Oregon Convention Center.

“Queer people got no justice from this General Conference,” said Jayson Dobney, an advocate for LBGTQ people in The United Methodist Church. “The bishop’s actions were glimmers of hope, but the system has done so much harm. This was an attempt to let them know we are still here.”

General Conference delegates apparently have hit the pause button on the denomination's quadrennial debates related to homosexuality.

Late May 18, the delegates voted to accept the recommendation of the Council of Bishops to delay a debate on homosexuality at this gathering of the denomination’s top legislative assembly and let a proposed commission study church regulations.

Julie Todd, an LGBTQ advocate with Love Prevails, said she feels a strange combination of emotions at the end of this General Conference.

“I am disappointed, but not at all surprised,” she said. “I do not believe The United Methodist Church cares about LBGTQ people or justice of any kind.

“In the end,” she added, “the institution will do what it will to maintain power and the status quo.”

Gilbert is a multimedia news reporter for United Methodist News Service. Contact her at (615) 742-5470 or newsdesk@umcom.org.

Sign up for our newsletter!

SUBSCRIBE

Latest News

General Church
An empty collection plate.  Photo illustration by Kathleen Barry, UMNS.

Conference offers guidance on apportionment alternatives

California-Pacific Conference leaders advise churches on giving options including withholding or redirecting apportionment contributions in protest of 2019 General Conference.
General Church
Judi Kenaston, Northeastern Jurisdiction, talks with Michelle Hettman, Southeastern Jurisdiction, during the meeting of the Connectional Table held at United Methodist Discipleship Ministries in Nashville, Tenn., April 2.  Photo by Kathleen Barry, UMNS

Leaders pursue plan for new US structure

Despite concerns the homosexuality debate will engulf the plan, the Connectional Table is submitting legislation to create a decision-making body on U.S. matters.
General Conference
The Rev. Adilson De Almeida of Luanda, Angola addresses fellow members of the Standing Committee on Central Conference Matters, as the Rev. Kimberly Reisman looks on. He and other church leaders at the meeting talked about the fallout of the special General Conference during a March meeting in Manila, Philippines. Photo by Heather Hahn, UMNS.

Global church wrestles with post-GC2019 pain

United Methodists took time out of a joint international meeting to discuss GC2019 fallout that some say casts doubt on the future of a global church.