Local News

United Methodist Church votes on stance on homosexuality

Posted February 26, 2019 4:55 a.m. EST

— Religious leaders will decide on Tuesday the role of gay people in Methodist churches in the Triangle and across the country.

The United Methodist Church conference wraps up on Tuesday in St. Louis with a decision that will outline the church's stance on homosexuality. The three-day event includes more than 850 delegates, and 36 of them are from North Carolina.

The delegates have considered several options, including giving different regions the authority to take their own stance, dividing the church into branches, or keeping the current bans in place.

Currently, the church forbids clergy from officiating same-sex weddings and gays from serving in the ministry, but one local pastor said these issues have been dividing the church for decades.

"Some Christians believe that scripture is clear -- homosexual relationships are against God's will," explained Rev. Alan Felton from North Raleigh United Methodist Church. "Others read scripture very differently."

In a preliminary vote, delegates supported keeping the current bans in place.

The conference starts at 9:20 a.m. This story will be updated once voting is complete.