Human sexuality (including LGBT+ issues)
At the annual Methodist Conference in 1993 in Derby, following long debate at all levels of the Church's life on the basis of a detailed report, the Methodist Church considered the issues of human sexuality.
What were the conclusions?
At the end of the debate, the Conference passed in the same session a series of resolutions (known as 'The 1993 Resolutions'). These resolutions are as follows
- The Conference, affirming the joy of human sexuality as God's gift and the place of every human being within the grace of God, recognises the responsibility that flows from this for us all. It therefore welcomes the serious, prayerful and sometimes costly consideration given to this issue by The Methodist Church.
- All practices of sexuality, which are promiscuous, exploitative or demeaning in any way are unacceptable forms of behaviour and contradict God's purpose for us all.
- A person shall not be debarred from church on the grounds of sexual orientation in itself.
- The Conference reaffirms the traditional teaching of the Church on human sexuality; namely chastity for all outside marriage and fidelity within it. The Conference directs that this affirmation is made clear to all candidates for ministry, office and membership, and having established this, affirm that the existing procedures of our church are adequate to deal with all such cases.
- The Conference resolves that its decision in this debate shall not be used to form the basis of a disciplinary charge against any person in relation to conduct alleged to have taken place before such decisions were made.
- Conference recognises, affirms and celebrates the participation and ministry of lesbians and gay men in the church. Conference calls on the Methodist people to begin a pilgrimage of faith to combat repression and discrimination, to work for justice and human rights and to give dignity and worth to people whatever their sexuality.
Where does this leave the Church?
The outcome is that, within the church, there is a diversity of interpretations and a range of understandings about intimate relationships. The Conference encourages Methodists to continue to discuss these differences in a spirit of openness and love. Our shared ambition is to combat repression and discrimination, to work for justice and human rights and to give dignity and worth to people whatever their sexuality.
The 1993 Resolutions were adopted by the Conference after discussion throughout the Church of the 1990 Report of the Conference Commission on Human Sexuality.
Read the full 1990 report here
Marriage and Relationships - 2018 Resources to help the Methodist people to engage with each other honestly, prayerfully and graciously about matters relating to marriage and human relationships
Marriage and Relationships - 2019 The Marriage and Relationships Task Group presented a report to the 2019 Conference with recommendations about various issues to do with relationships in general and marriage in particular. Those recommendations will be submitted to the wider Church for consultation during 2019-2020, with a final decision being made at the July 2020 Conference.
Homophobia: Definition and Guidance - A resource produced by the Equality Diversity and Inclusion Committee in 2015
For further information the first point of contact is your local church where the minister can discuss your questions with you.