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By Rich McKay

(Reuters) - The United Methodist Church plans to split into two later this year, church officials said on Friday, a schism that follows years of contention over whether the church should end its ban on same-sex marriage and gay clergy.

The plan, if approved at the church's worldwide conference in Minneapolis in May, would divide the third-largest U.S. Christian denomination into two branches: A traditionalist side opposed to gay marriage and the ordination of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender clergy, and a progressive wing that will allow same-sex marriage and LGBT clergy
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The split would affect the denomination globally, church leaders said. The United Methodist Church lists more than 13 million members in the United States and 80 million worldwide.

The U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage throughout the nation in 2015, but that decision applies only to civil, not religious, services. Some denominations, including the Episcopal Church and certain branches of Judaism, have sanctified same-sex unions, while others including the Roman Catholic Church and Southern Baptist Convention, have declined to do so.

A council of Methodist bishops in Washington called Friday's move the "best means to resolve our differences."

A meeting held last February on the issue failed to come up with a solution that satisfied the conservative and liberal wings of the church.

Church leaders from both camps said they welcomed the move.

"While we regret that it has come to this, we believe this gives us a path forward that honors the dignity of all people," said Reverend Junius Dotson, a leader in UMCNext, a liberal group within the church that favors gay rights. "We want to reform the current United Methodist Church."

Reverend Keith Boyette, president of the conservative Wesleyan Covenant Association, sounded a similar note.

"I think this is good news, as the potential agreement can end years of conflict and allows us a way to stay true to our values without this continuous battle," he said.


Last month, Grace Fellowship UMC of the Houston suburb of Katy, Texas, with about 2,800 members, voted to leave the denomination over the church's debate over same-sex unions and gay clergy, opting to remain conservative and oppose such marriages.

The new plan comes at a time when newly adopted sanctions were set to go into effect to more strictly punish church pastors who perform same-sex weddings, with sanctions that would include a year's suspension up to removal from the clergy.


(Reporting by Rich McKay in Atlanta; Editing by Scott Malone and Paul Simao)
 

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people just have to make things more complacated than they are.


Common
lawmarriage, also known as sui iuris marriage,, informal marriage, ,marriage by habit and repute, or marriage in fact, is a legal framework in a limited number of jurisdictions where a couple is legally considered married, without that couple .having formally registered their relation as a civil or religious marriage
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I think if two people love each other they should be allowed to get married. it allows them certain rights like spousal health benefits, legal benefits for deceased , legal benefits for medical decisions etc. I know a few married gay couples, both male and female. They all live productive lives and are happy so what more could you ask for? The only thing i dislike about the lgbtq movement is asking for special rights like using different bathrooms and such. Just like gun rights, if you don't like guns don't buy one, if you don't like being gay don't marry one. pretty simple.
 
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separation, splits, and new churches have been the norm for hundreds of years ever since the Protestant Reformation........

such over various aspects of theology, marriage, divorce, money, power, authority, etc, etc.........
 
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Discussion Starter #5
And some people were delusional in thinking that granting "same-sex marriage rights" would settle the gays issues and satisfy them. Really? That was just the "big foot of mental-illness" being shoved thru the door.

Placate the mentally ill and play that game of "We're ALL Normal". They like it when YOU do that.
 

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Jesus Saves
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I think same sex marriage is wrong. Same sex marriage is not biblical. A church who preaches the bible should not be mandated to accept same sex marriage. The perversion of the bible made possible by sexual desires is not something I need to accept; legally or otherwise. A church has every right to reject leadership who is living in sin and does not follow the fundamentals of biblical truths.

Saying that, I will add that all sinners are welcome to come into church and will be loved as everyone else is. People should not expect or demand that christians accept a sinful lifestyle.

Gay lifestyle and same sex marriage is wrong.
 

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Ancient Gaseous Emanation
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Right? Wrong? I don't know.

Just get out of my face and go do your thing. Leave me alone and I'll do my thing.
 

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I think same sex marriage is wrong. Same sex marriage is not biblical. A church who preaches the bible should not be mandated to accept same sex marriage. The perversion of the bible made possible by sexual desires is not something I need to accept; legally or otherwise. A church has every right to reject leadership who is living in sin and does not follow the fundamentals of biblical truths.

Saying that, I will add that all sinners are welcome to come into church and will be loved as everyone else is. People should not expect or demand that christians accept a sinful lifestyle.

Gay lifestyle and same sex marriage is wrong.

I'm not a huge fan of organized religion as a whole. I have seen too many stories of abuse, sexual, physical and even deaths perpetrated by people at church and others covering it up. Most of the abuse is on children and women. Mostly from the catholic church but have seen some others as well. with that said my wife is a devout Christian who attends church almost every week and bible study class each week as well. I worked in a convent for 2+ years and i could tell you some very strange stories of things i have seen and heard there too. But i use the same rules to them as i do gays. Do what you want as long as you're happy and don't hurt others and I'm 100% fine with it. Don't like it, don't buy it, don't join it and don't partake in it.....and don't push it in my face. That's what i love about this country, freedom. Even though it's dwindling we still have it.
 

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My niece is gay, a best friend's daughter is into a gay marriage, and we attended a very nice wedding of 2 gay men. One of these is now going through the joys of a gay divorce. Welcome to the real world.
 
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