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32 Ohio UM Ministers Vow To Teach Homosex To Sunday School Children

32 East Ohio Methodist clerics to defy rule on gays



...LAKESIDE - Thirty-two United Methodists ministers put their jobs in jeopardy yesterday, vowing to preach from their pulpits and teach children in their Sunday schools that homosexuality is compatible with Christianity.

...Their statement, paraded on placards at the East Ohio general conference here, contradicts church law. The United Methodist denomination, like the great majority of religious traditions, condemns gay and lesbian sex. The church's highest governing body reaffirmed that position by a two-thirds vote during a wrenching general conference in Cleveland in May 2000.

..."I think that all people are the same," said the Rev. Donald Kuntz, pastor of Creston United Methodist Church in Creston, a Wayne County village of 2,000 about 60 miles south of Cleveland.

...East Ohio Conference Bishop Jonathan D. Keaton said that he will enforce church law. "I fully support the stance of the 2000 General Conference regarding homosexuality," Keaton said through a spokeswoman. "Also, I strongly affirm the use of administrative and judicial processes in the 2000 Book of Discipline for addressing noncompliance."

...The Rev. Tom Taylor, retired pastor of Brecksville United Methodist Church, said at least four retired and one active minister stand ready to bless a gay union. He declined to name the individuals.

...The Rev. Coralee Cox, associate pastor of Mayfield United Methodist Church, is worried about schism. "The pain in our church is continuing, for sure," she said. "The feelings on both sides seem to be intensifying. My hope is God will lead us and there will not be a split."

Keaton said he was planning a dialogue for both sides Sept. 22.

Excerpted from cleveland.com Online. 32 East Ohio Methodist clerics to defy rule on gays

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