The United Methodist Church voted to intensify its ban on gay marriage and LGBTQ+ clergy on Feb. 26.
In the last 50 years, great strides have been made in the gay rights movement, but with one step forward, this feels like two steps back.
Controversy and split opinions on the ban could divide the nation’s third largest Christian denomination.
According to The New York Times, the decision passed with a vote of 53 percent to 47 percent.
Some church officials say that homosexuality does not align with Christian values, but some may argue that neither do premarital sex, divorce and taking the Lord’s name in vain.
So which values are okay to break and which aren’t? Why is there hypocrisy?
Although same-sex marriage is legal in the United States, many churchgoers want to get married in their church.
The decision could discourage people, especially those who identify as LGBTQ+, from joining or continuing their practices within the United Methodist Church if they feel alienated by this recent declaration.
Even though the vote strengthened the ban on same-sex marriage, this vote may not be reflective of the United Methodist Church in total.
The New York Times reported that six in 10 United Methodists in the U.S. believe homosexuality should be accepted and some congregations have had LGBTQ+ clergy members, and have held same-sex wedding ceremonies, even though it violates church policy.
Perhaps the officials voting on the ban aren’t a true reflection of the members of the United Methodist Church.
Or, perhaps members of the church should step into the 21st century and celebrate all forms of love and those who want to devote their life to religion, regardless of their sexual orientation.