(RNS) Almost daily, evidence mounts of defiant United Methodist clergy breaking church law on behalf of gays and lesbians as the nation’s second-largest Protestant denomination struggles with what may be its most vexing rebellion in decades.
- A retired seminary president, the Rev. William McElvaney, said Sunday (Jan. 19) that he is willing to officiate at same-sex weddings. The 85-year-old former president of St. Paul School of Theology made the announcement at Northaven United Methodist Church in Dallas. He called church trials “the Methodist version of inquisition in the 20th and 21st centuries.”
- After the Jan. 14 federal ruling striking down a gay marriage ban in Oklahoma, a group of Methodists favoring same-sex marriage took out ads in the Tulsa World and The Oklahoman praising the ruling and inviting people to Methodist churches.
- Every week, another Methodist minister “comes out” and acknowledges performing a same-sex wedding on the website of the New York-based Methodists in New Directions. So far, 14 clergy have made such disclosures; none has faced a church complaint, said Dorothee Benz, MIND spokeswoman.