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Pro-homosexuality Legislation Stalling In Committees, More Gays And Lesbians Join Push For Homosexualizing UMC


CALLED OUT INFORMATION SERVICE

Saturday, May 6
AMAR* Coalition Daily Update
* AMAR is the pro-homosexuality coalition at General Conference

PROGRESS ON SEXUAL ORIENTATION LEGISLATION

On Friday, the legislative committees continued work on petitions related to sexual orientation.

Faith & Order. The Committee voted 103 to 2 to include verbal comments in the definition of sexual harassment. This decision is important to the coalition because it will provide a measure of protection to LGBT persons who are verbally assaulted based on their identity.

Financial Administration. Coalition volunteers dialogued with delegates about preparing a minority report to respond to the committee's vote on Thursday to uphold the church's prohibition on funding education programs on issues of sexual orientation. Through this process, delegates who are supportive of AMAR are making their voices heard.

Local Church. A sub-subcommittee unanimously voted against the petition that would allow local churches to decide by vote at Charge Conferences whether they would allow holy union services to be conducted in their churches. The tone of the concerns seemed to be centered not around whether it makes sense to allow decision-making on this issue to reside within the local church, but at what level. The coalition responded with suggestions for rationale and amendments.

SHARING OUR STORIES

AMAR volunteers have been reaching out to delegates to share their personal stories about why legislation supportive of sexual orientation is so important to them. Since Tuesday, we have talked to dozens of delegates who have graciously taken time from their busy schedules to dialogue and share their thoughts with us.

Many delegates have told us the letters they received from coalition supporters before General Conference caused them to change their minds about sexual orientation issues. (Nearly 1,000 United Methodists nationwide - LGBT, straight, young, old, clergy and laity of all ethnic backgrounds - wrote personal letters to delegates sharing their stories.)

The coalition is exploring ways to continue delivering personal letters to delegates. United Methodists from Arizona delivered 800 handwritten letters to our headquarters on Friday for distribution.

SCORES OF COALITION SUPPORTERS ARRIVING!

It is hard to believe that General Conference volunteers supporting the full inclusion of LGBT persons has grown from 100 in Denver (1996) to over 500 expected here in Cleveland. Over 200 United Methodist volunteers have been working all week to raise awareness about the importance of sexual orientation issues.

On Friday, a force of fresh energy arrived when over 100 additional volunteers from across the country checked in at coalition headquarters. All will join together on Saturday and Sunday to witness to God's intention that the church welcome all people-fully and regardless of identity.

YOU ARE INVITED

Saturday Noon - 2:00 p.m. Rally, a joyful celebration with Holy Communion at the Mall outside the Convention Center. Bishop Melvin Talbert will be honored. Look for the balloons!

8:00 - 10:00 p.m. MFSA Ball Award Celebration Cleveland at First UMC (3000 Euclid Ave.)

Sunday 1:30 p.m. Reconciling Sunday Worship. Cleveland First UMC sanctuary. Rev. James Lawson will preach.

3:00 - 6:00 p.m. Affirmation General Membership meeting in the Dorothy Fuldheim Room in the Sheraton City Centre.

AMAR COALITION COORDINATORS

Affirmation: Jeanne Knepper
MFSA:  Kathryn Johnson
RCP: Marilyn Alexander
UMs of Color for a Fully Inclusive Church: Gil Caldwell

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