A Methodist ban on conversion therapy
The Methodist Conference, meeting in Birmingham, voted overwhelmingly to ban all attempts at LGBT+ conversion therapy by its members and ministers. It also called on the UK Government to bring legislation to ban the practice throughout the country.
This latest vote is in line with the Church’s previously agreed Definition and Guidance on Homophobia. The Methodist Church will now publish an official policy on conversion therapy as well look to engage constructively with government in bringing forward the necessary legislation.
Revd Mark Rowland, part of the leadership of Dignity and Worth, and a leading proponent of the ban, commented:
“Today the Conference made absolutely clear that conversion therapy has no place in the Methodist Church. Any attempts to use prayer or coercion to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity is spiritual abuse and a perversion of the gospel message of love and mercy.
I look forward to the Church’s leaders taking this message to the heart of government.’
Methodist Conference votes on Marriage and Relationships
The Methodist Conference has taken a momentous step on the road to justice and inclusion. After many years of, sometimes, painful conversations, the church has now agreed to allow local congregations to open their buildings to host the marriages of same-sex couples.
The members of Dignity & Worth have been working and praying hard to see this day, recognizing that the hard work of implementing this decision still lies ahead of us.
This is a joyful day for many of us within, and beyond, the Methodist Church. But we acknowledge that for some, this is a difficult decision and one they cannot support. We continue to hope that we can continue to journey together with them in love.
Revd Sam McBratney, Chair of Dignity and Worth commented:
‘Some of us have been praying for this day to come for decades, and can hardly believe it is now here. We are so grateful to our fellow Methodists for taking this courageous step to recognize and affirm the value and worth of LGBTQ+ relationships. And we reassure those who do not support this move, that we want to continue to work and worship with you in the Church we all love.’
Results of Synod votes on God in Love Unites Us