Petition 81355

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Civil Rights in All Unions (81355-C2-¶161.G)

Amend ¶ 161G as follows:
We recognize that sexuality is God's good gift to all persons. . . . Although all persons are sexual beings whether or not they are married  in covenant relationships including marriage, we believe sexual relations are only clearly affirmed in the marriage bond  bond of marriage or committed union. Sex may become exploitative within as well as outside marriage or committed union.  We reject all sexual expressions that damage or destroy the humanity God has given us as birthright, and we affirm only that sexual expression that enhances that same humanity. . . .  We insist that all persons, regardless of age, gender, marital status, or sexual orientation, are entitled to have their human and civil rights ensured. We encourage civil authorities to enact laws that will ensure full civil and economic rights for persons in committed unions including marriages without regard to the gender of the partners.  . . .  
All persons need the ministry and guidance of the church in their struggles for human fulfillment, as well as the spiritual and emotional care of a fellowship that enables reconciling relationships with God, with others, and with self.   The United Methodist Church does not condone the practice of homosexuality and consider this practice incompatible with Christian Teaching.  We affirm that God's grace is available to all, and we will seek to live together in Christian community. We implore families and churches not to reject or condemn lesbian and gay members and friends. We commit ourselves to be in ministry for and with all persons.

Rationale

Article IV mandates: “...All persons without regard to...status...shall be eligible to” fully participate in the church; JCD 1020: “status” may include gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender; Doctrinal statement ¶138: Inclusiveness denies every semblance of discrimination.