Last week the United Methodist Church — led by its African congregants — voted to reaffirm its commitment to traditional, orthodox teaching on sexual morality. Here's how The Atlantic's invaluable religion writer, Emma Green, framed the story:
The United Methodist Church has fractured over the role of LGBTQ people in the denomination. At a special conference in St. Louis this week, convened specifically to address divisions over LGBTQ issues, members voted to toughen prohibitions on same-sex marriage and LGBTQ clergy. This was a surprise: The denomination's bishops, its top clergy, pushed hard for a resolution that would have allowed local congregations, conferences, and clergy to make their own choices about conducting same-sex marriages and ordaining LGBTQ pastors. This proposal, called the "One Church Plan," was designed to keep the denomination together. Methodist delegates rejected its recommendations, instead choosing the so-called Traditional Plan, which affirmed the denomination's teachings against homosexuality.
This is an important cultural moment. It is now clear that a majority of America's largest mainline denomination agrees with the teaching of their Catholic and Southern Baptist brethren about the immorality of sex outside of marriage between a man and a woman.