The United Methodist Church released a statement explaining that there was a level of improper voting at the special session of General Conference last month in which the denomination reaffirmed its official position against homosexuality.
Delegates at the special session voted in favor of a proposal called “The Traditional Plan” that reaffirmed the UMC’s official position labeling homosexuality “incompatible with Christian teaching” and promised stricter enforcement of its ban on same-sex marriage and the ordination of noncelibate homosexuals.
The UMC Executive Committee of the Commission on the General Conference reported Thursday that “a very limited number” of people who were not allowed to vote nevertheless got to cast ballots at the special session.
“… an in-depth review was initiated to prepare the delegate attendance records as required by the rules of the General Conference. The secretary, along with the business manager, General Conference staff and an independent auditing firm, cross-checked credential cards, name badge bar code scans, attendance forms, reserve delegate seating forms and other resources,” reported the executive committee.
“Upon completion of the review, it appears possible that a very limited number of ineligible persons who were correctly denied credentials by General Conference staff were later able to procure them.”
While the specific number of ineligible voters has not been released, Secretary of the General Conference, the Rev. Gary W. Graves, told the United Methodist News Service that the improper votes were not large enough to change the results.
However, the very close vote of 402-400 to substitute a minority report for Petition 90066, which regarded allowing churches to disaffiliate from the UMC with minimal cost, is a point of concern.
“The parliamentarian who served at the Special Session is being consulted regarding any potential impact this situation may have on the legislative action which resulted in the substitution of the minority report for the legislative committee’s report in the processing of petition 90066 since the vote to substitute was a two-vote difference of 402-400,” continued the executive committee.
Over the past several years, the UMC has endured an intense debate over whether to change its Book of Discipline’s biblically-based stance that homosexuality is “incompatible with Christian teaching.”
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Source: Christian Post