Petition 81174

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Homosexuality and Authentic Tolerance (81174-C2-R9999)

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Homosexuality and Authentic Tolerance
WHEREAS, the historic and democratically confirmed teaching of The United Methodist Church is that sexual relations are a gift are to be enjoyed only within the marriage of one man and one woman; and
WHEREAS, this teaching is consistent with Scripture, Christian tradition, and the position of most of the rest of the world’s churches; and
WHEREAS, in recent years a number of individuals and groups in various places in the world have experienced discrimination for holding this Christian view, particularly as it relates to homosexuality; and
WHEREAS, in 2001, a man in Saskatchewan, Canada who took out an ad in the Saskatoon StarPhoenix quoting Bible verses on homosexuality was fined, along with the newspaper, on the grounds that this constituted a human rights violation against homosexuals; and
WHEREAS, in 2003, a Pentecostal pastor, the Rev. Ake Green, was found guilty of violating Sweden’s hate-speech law for saying in a sermon that homosexual practice was immoral; and
WHEREAS, the overturning of Green’s conviction in 2005 by an appeals court was strongly protested by homosexual rights leaders in that country; and
WHEREAS, in September 2007, New Jersey state government officials took punitive action against the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association, a United Methodist ministry founded in 1869, because of the Association’s refusal to host same-sex union ceremonies; and
WHEREAS, after his nomination to be U.S. Surgeon General, United Methodist Judicial Council President James Holsinger has been strongly denounced by secular homosexual rights groups for his United Methodist faith; and
WHEREAS, such attacks on Dr. Holsinger’s nomination imply that anyone who believes in biblical, United Methodist teaching of sexual morality is unfit for public office; and
WHEREAS, the open or at least tacit support of many homosexual rights activists for such discriminatory actions as those noted above suggests that their true agenda is ultimately far less benevolent than their rhetoric of “inclusiveness,” “freedom,” and “equality” indicate; and
WHEREAS, the General Board of Church and Society has not reacted against these threats to religious liberty;
Therefore, be it resolved, that the 2008 General Conference goes on record as decrying any discrimination against any people for their personal belief in biblical and traditional moral standards and as affirming our solidarity with victims of such mistreatment; and
Be it further resolved, that we urge the General Board of Church and Society to support the victims of such discrimination, through encouragement and advocacy, and
Be it further resolved, that we call on groups opposed to our Church’s teaching on homosexual practice to join in opposition to any discrimination against people on the basis of their sharing our Church’s position.  

 John Leo, “Bombarded by Bans,” 13 October 2002, U.S. News and World Report; available from <> ; accessed 26 October 2007.  
 Keith B. Richburg, “Swedish Hate-Speech Verdict Reversed,” Washington Post, 12 February 2005; available from <> ; accessed 24 October 2007.  
 Jill P. Capuzzo, “Group Loses Tax Break Over Gay Union Issue,” New York Times, 18 September 2007.  


This is an important issue that our Church needs to clearly address.