United Methodist Church lifts same-sex marriage ban

The United Methodist Church voted 692-51 to overturn the ban on same-sex marriage and LGBTQ+ clergy in its churches.
Methodist same-sex marriage

The United Methodist Church will allow same-sex marriage and LGBTQ+ clergy after its members voted to lift two decades-old bans.

The church has around 10 million members worldwide, including a large following in the U.S.

More than 700 church delegates attended a conference in the U.S. this week. A the conference 93% voted in favour of repealing anti-LGBT Methodist policies.


The 2020 U.S. Religious Census categorises the United Methodist Church (UMC) as a ‘Mainline Protestant’ faith.

Mainline Protestants “typically emphasise a proactive view on issues of social and economic justice and a tolerance of varied individual beliefs,” according to the Association of Religion Data Archives.

The UMC has previously banned LGBTQ+ people from joining its clergy. It defines clergy as “ministers, deacons, elders, and local pastors under appointment of a bishop.”

Methodists allow same-sex marriage

UMC clergy gathered for the church’s annual conference in the U.S. state of North Carolina this week.

Delegates of the United Methodist Church voted 692-51 to overturn the ban on same-sex marriage and LGBTQ+ clergy in its churches.

The reforms mean a 52-year-old clause in church documents stating: “the practice of homosexuality… is incompatible with Christian teaching,” will be removed.

However, a church or clergyperson will not be punished if they don’t agree to host a same-sex wedding.

“There’s still work to do… Just because we change legislation doesn’t mean that we change hearts and minds. But I’m committed to that long-term work.”

Associate pastor of East Lake United Methodist Church, Birmingham, Alabama, Rev. H.N. Gibson


The conference also addressed concerns of racial discrimination within the church.

It came after a group of Asian-American Methodists cited increasing discrimination during the pandemic.

A resolution to condemn “racial-ethnic discrimination and gender-based violence against Asian Americans” was approved at the conference.

Become smarter in three minutes

Get the daily email that makes reading the news actually enjoyable. Stay informed, for free.

Be the smart friend in your group chat

Join thousands of young Aussies and get our 5 min daily newsletter on what matters in your world.

It’s easy. It’s trustworthy. It’s free.