Last week in Austin, the leaders of the First United Methodist Church of Austin announced they will stop performing marriage ceremonies – that is, until the church’s national leadership allows same-sex weddings.
The national United Methodist Church currently only supports marriage between a man and a woman. The local church in Austin wanted to protest this discriminatory policy without violating the national policy standards, and this was their solution.
“Rather than practicing discrimination in our wedding policy, we are going to give up some of the privileges that our opposite-sex couples enjoy and say, ‘We will all receive the same ministry in terms of weddings,’” Taylor Fuerst, senior pastor at FUMC Austin, told local NBC affiliate KXAN.
Last year, FUMC Austin’s Administrative Board appointed a committee to devise a plan to address the conflict between the Book of Discipline’s statement on marriage and the congregation’s “commitment to full inclusion of all people in the life and ministry of this church.”
On Sept. 24, following an 11 a.m. religious service, a church-wide vote was held on a resolution that would “adopt a policy that treats weddings of opposite-sex and same-sex couples equally but does not violate the Book of Discipline.” The resolution, which needed 75 percent approval to pass, was supported by 93 percent of the voting congregation.
Show them how it’s done, y’all.