Petition 80506

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Transgenderism Among Clergy (80506-JA-¶2702.1)

Amend ¶2702.1 as follows:
¶ 2702. Chargeable Offenses and the Statute of Limitations-1. A bishop, clergy member of an annual conference (¶368), local pastor,  14  clergy on honorable or administrative location, or diaconal minister may be tried when charged (subject to the statute of limitations in ¶2702.4)* with one or more of the following offenses: (a) immorality including but not limited to, not being celibate in singleness or not faithful in a heterosexual marriage;*** (b) identifying as transgendered or undergoing elective hormonal or surgical procedures to alter one’s God-given identity as male or female; (b)  (c) practices declared by The United Methodist Church to be incompatible with Christian teachings;  15  including but not limited to: being a self-avowed practicing homosexual; or conducting ceremonies which celebrate homosexual unions; or performing same-sex wedding ceremonies;*** (c)  (d) crime; (d)  (e) failure to perform the work of the ministry; (e)  (f) disobedience to the Order and Discipline of The United Methodist Church; (f)  (g) dissemination of doctrines contrary to the established standards of doctrine of The United Methodist Church; (g)  (h) relationships and/or behavior that undermines the ministry of another pastor;  16   (h)  (i) child abuse;** (i)  (j) sexual abuse; (j)  (k) sexual misconduct** or   (k)  (l) harassment, including but not limited to racial or sexual harassment; or (l)  (m) racial or gender discrimination.

Rationale

This issue has arisen twice in the last two quadrennia in the Baltimore-Washington Conference, without adequate specific guidance from our Discipline.  The church should not affirm such unhealthy, self-destructive practices but rather compassionately counsel such persons to embrace their God-given identities.  Pastors need to be Christian examples for their congregations.