The motion prevailed in written ballot, 400 to 169.
Meeting in annual session in Saint Cloud, Minnesota, May 30-June 1, session members approved a resolution sent by a group of churches against the proposal that only a union of one man and one woman shall be recognized as marriage in Minnesota. The proposal will appear on the November ballot.
Those who submitted the resolution drew on a United Methodist stance that “all persons, regardless of age, gender, marital status, or sexual orientation, are entitled to have their human and civil rights ensured and to be protected against violence” (The United Methodist Book of Discipline, paragraph 161F). They argue that many civil rights are based on one’s marital status: health insurance, equal taxation, retirement benefits, and health-care directives.
“Hundreds of thousands of current and potential United Methodists in Minnesota would benefit from equal protection of civil rights,” the resolution’s sponsors said.
The resolution is advisory and does not obligate individual United Methodists or their churches.
Only the Minnesota Conference in annual session can speak for the Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. All Minnesota United Methodist clergy and an equal number of lay people are session members, who meet annually to set mission and ministry policy for the regional body (conference). There are currently 72,000 members of 353 United Methodist churches in Minnesota.
Reporters may contact Victoria Rebeck, director of communication for the Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church, for more information.