LGBTQ activists disrupt COB meeting

November 3, 2016

LGBTQ Activists Disrupt UMC Bishops Meeting

LGBTQ activists disrupted a closed-door meeting of United Methodist bishops to protest perceived discrimination against them within the denomination. Their protests included confronting bishops with signs, driving around the convention center blaring “Dancing Queen” with the windows down, and taking over the bishops’ meeting space where they reasserted their demands with a megaphone.

Members of Love Prevails, a group which works to assert a progressive LGBTQ agenda in the United Methodist Church (UMC), protested during the meeting of the Council of Bishops (COB), held earlier this week at St. Simons Island, Georgia. They alleged that LGBTQ voices were underrepresented on the Commission on Human Sexuality. The COB announced the list of individuals it had appointed to the commission on October 24.

Institute on Religion and Democracy (IRD) United Methodist Director John Lomperis observed in his analysis of the Human Sexuality Commission, published on October 31, that LGBTQ Methodists had already acquired more than proportional representation on the commission. “Considering that likely no more than two percent of United Methodists (if that) self-identify as LGBTQ, this rather tiny demographic getting three out of 32 slots (nearly 10 percent) is quite an over-representation,” Lomperis wrote.

However, Loves Prevails “demand[ed] a full majority” on the commission in July. Dr. Dorothee Benz – communications director at the Center for Constitutional Rights, self-identified lesbian LGBTQ activist and General Conference delegate – repeated this demand while reading a statement via megaphone during the bishops’ meeting on November 1. She said the group had called on the COB to respond by 8am that morning, but the bishops had failed to do so. She said that was “why we are here, again, now.”

“We began and ended by reiterating the demand, the urgent need for the COB to act with grace and admit its grievous mistake in how it has constituted this commission and to re-constitute it to include 50% LGBTQI people, whereby those people must represent the full, diverse spectrum of our communities, specifically, including people of color and women,” Benz said in the statement, as posted to RMN’s website.

COB President Bishop Bruce Ough failed to stop this disruption. This resembled his easygoing response to disruptions at Connectional Table (CT), which he chaired from 2013 through 2016. Lomperis reported that Bishop Ough had also made a point of “crediting Love Prevails with pressuring the CT” through these disruptions “to dramatically re-order its agenda” around human sexuality.

A 14-minute video of Benz reading her statement and the ongoing disruption of the Council meeting by LGBTQ activists was streamed live on Facebook by Love Prevails. It was still available for viewing at the time of writing.

The video also showed numerous bishops leaving the meeting. Former Methodist Federation for Social Action (MFSA) Executive Director Chett Pritchett took to Twitter, challenging Methodists whose bishops walked out to “HOLD THEM ACCOUNTABLE!

Since her disruption on November 1, Benz has continued to voice her criticisms of the COB on Twitter. In one tweet on November 2, she said she was “proud” to have represented Methodist LGBTQ activists at the COB meeting.


15 Responses to LGBTQ Activists Disrupt UMC Bishops Meeting

  1. Pudentiana says:

    It is time for Tobiah and Sanballat to leave.

  2. Nancy says:

    Good example of how love prevails–NOT. This kind of behavior turns everyone off and makes it very difficult to listen to them or have compassion for them. Poor choice of ways to make their concerns known

  3. Ted says:

    The Episcopalians have lots of empty pews, so…

  4. Philip says:

    Nobody tied themselves up and flopped around on the floor? No destruction of Holy symbols? Amateurs.

    Temper tantrums always work, especially when you are an adult.

  5. Ray D. says:

    “They alleged that LGBTQ voices were underrepresented on the Commission on Human Sexuality.”

    Yes, and atheists are under-represented on the Evangelism Committee, too.

    These disruptive protestors need to be stripped of their offices and suspended from the sacraments, at the very least until they learn some manners.

  6. Dwight Welch says:

    well given that the subject are LGBT folks, I can see why 3 folks is underrepresented. LGBT folks are being talked about, not with. That is a problem.

    • Joan Watson says:

      My impression is there is no talking with this articular iteration of progressives, there is only acquiescing to their views. Dorothee Benz was incensed when the Wesleyan Covenant Association stated that conservatives should no longer have to compromise their conscience. I have been monitoring this since 2012 and any time I have stated that it is my heartfelt belief that God ordained that sexual relationships should be between one man and one woman and anything else is outside of God’s plan, the response I received was always the same: my belief was harmful to the LGBTQ+ community. Where is the talking “with” in that response. I have also seen where progressives of the Love Prevails ilk belittle those that disagree with them and shut down the discussion. If these types of progressives are given the upper hand in the UMC, I am through. They not only have beliefs that I disagree with, I do not see them as an appropriate role model for Christian behavior.

      • Nutstuyu says:

        I wonder if the likes of Dorothee Benz would support my “right” to marry a few more wives. After all, our spiritual patriarchs all had multiple wives.
        #LoveIsLove #LGBTQRSXYZ

  7. Palamas says:

    “We began and ended by reiterating the demand, the urgent need for the COB to act with grace and admit its grievous mistake in how it has constituted this commission and to re-constitute it to include 50% LGBTQI people, whereby those people must represent the full, diverse spectrum of our communities, specifically, including people of color and women,” Benz said in the statement, as posted to RMN’s website.

    It’s this kind of entitled insanity that guarantees that, if they get their way, the UMC will split and most members and churches will leave. Those remaining behind can then reconstitute themselves as the Gay Methodist Church, and mutter to themselves pointlessly about their own righteousness while meeting in the backroom of a gay bar in San Francisco.

  8. Nutstuyu says:

    People need to start disrupting these demonic groups’ own meetings too. Find your conference’s Reconciling Ministries chapter and show up with bullhorns and signs.
    #TakeBackOurChurch #LGBTQRSXYZ #ObeyTheUMBoD

  9. Shane says:

    Three Iowa Supreme Court justices who decreed that Iowa MUST have same-sex marriage face a retention vote this year: Mark Cady, Daryl Hecht, and Brent Appel.

  10. Skipper says:

    Here they are acting like rude spoiled children when they are adults and responsible to God for their actions like everyone else. In Matthew 3:7 John the Baptist said to the Pharisees and Sadducees who came to be baptized “You bunch of snakes! Who warned you to run from the coming judgment? Do something to show that you have really given up your sins.” These have not even heard the warning. They don’t even try to flee from the wrath to come. They tell each other God is kind, so it is all right to be immoral – even unnaturally immoral. They don’t see this as a double evil, but as a right they have.
    John cautioned the Pharisees not to think they were part of Abraham’s family (God’s family that is). These fight against God, family and decency, while pretending to part of God’s kingdom. While that is sad, they can still turn back to God if they repent in time and live a New Life in Christ.

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