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United Methodists in Liberia reject gay marriage

United Methodists of the Liberia Annual Conference are vehemently rejecting a recent resolution adopted by the United Methodist Church international legislative body to legal same-sex marriage and coronate gay bishops and pastors.

By Kruah Thompson 

Monrovia, Liberia, June 10, 2024 – Members of the United Methodist Church in Liberia protested here after a global conference of United Methodists held in America legalized same-sex marriage in the church.

It may be recalled that the United Methodist Church international legislative body held a General Conference from April 23 to May 3, 2024, in Charlotte, New York City, USA, to set official policy for all Methodist churches globally.

During the conference in New York City, delegates voted to end bans on homosexuality and let pastors choose whether to officiate same-sex weddings.

By a vote of 447 to 233, delegates struck down a ban, added by the 1996 General Conference, that prohibited clergy and the churches from officiating or hosting homosexual unions.

This indicates that pastors within the church no longer face potential penalties for being in a same-sex relationship or officiating same-sex weddings, nor can they be compelled to officiate one.

And by a vote of 544 to 121, the delegates also approved a change to the requirements that clergy practice “celibacy” in singleness — an addition made in 1984 that targeted gay candidates for ministry.

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And by a vote of 479 to 203, delegates adopted the statement: “No clergy at any time may be required to provide for or compelled to perform, or prohibited from performing, any marriage, union, or blessing. All clergy have the right to exercise and preserve their conscience when requested to perform any marriage, union, or blessing.”

This decision allows United Methodist pastors globally to officiate same-sex marriages without facing any penalties.

However, expressing their disappointment, a group of protesters believed to be members of the United Methodist Church in Liberia opposed the conference decision and questioned the implications of this new shift in the church’s doctrine.

The group gathered before the S.T. Nagbe United Methodist Church in Monrovia’s Sinkor to voice their disappointment, holding banners to demand the Liberian chapter’s position on the conference decision. 

Some banner inscriptions read, “We refuse Same-sex marriage in UMC” and “We uphold the Bible as the guide to our Christian faith; the church is not for sale,” among other things.

Amid the protest, several heads of the United Methodist Church in Liberia took center stage, opposing the U.S. United Methodist Conference’s decision, emphasizing that the Liberia Annual Conference will not conduct weddings or ordinations for practicing homosexuals. They stressed that the Church’s teachings will remain traditional.

Meanwhile, as protesters gathered to condemn the decision, Bishop Samuel J. Quire, head of the United Methodist Church Liberia chapter, led journalists into the S.T. Nagbe UMC, rejecting the claims that the Liberian chapter agreed to practice same-sex marriage.

Bishop Quire further emphasized that “Whether regionalization is ratified or not, the Liberia Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church will not conduct any weddings or ordinations of self-avowed, practicing homosexuals.” 

He affirmed the Church’s commitment to its doctrine and evangelistic outreach, further clarifying that the United Methodist Church is not gay and will continue to teach the doctrine of God. “Undermining the ministry of other clergy is a chargeable offense that will be enforced to maintain the Church’s order,” he added.

The Methodist Bishop concluded by stating that the Church will roll out a plan of regionalization leading to its annual session. Editing by Jonathan Browne

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