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Louisiana Church May Split From Conference Over LGBTQ+ Stance

Benton United Methodist Church

Because some churches are performing marriages for all parishioners and allowing LGBTQ+ people to serve as clergy members, one church is discussing leaving the conference.

BENTON, Louisiana (KTBS) -- A special session was held at Benton United Methodist Church to decide if it will split from the United Methodist Conference.

The session comes as some members are grappling with differing views about whether, or how to include members of the LGBTQ+ community in the church.

Some in the Methodist church advocate for inclusion of LGBTQ+ Christians, however, many feel strongly that the church should uphold its current stance against gay pastors and same-sex marriage.

However, some churches allowing LGBTQ+ clergy and performing same-sex ceremonies are prompting a split within the denomination.

Many churches are voting this year to exit in time for confirmation this fall.

Two-thirds of members must approve before the church can disaffiliate.

The Methodist Book of Discipline states that a local church has the right to disaffiliate under the basis of deep conflict around the issues of human sexuality.

As for Benton UMC and churches like it throughout the United States and worldwide, the church would owe the conference a one-time payment, before the end of 2023.

Exiting churches must pay two years of apportionments and pension liabilities.

A total of 3,000 to 5,000 churches are expected to leave the conference by 2023.

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Related: United Methodists Release Plan to Split Over LGBTQ Issues

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