While acknowledging the denomination’s “deep disagreements” over homosexuality, the United Methodist Council of Bishops promised to uphold church law banning same-sex unions in a letter released Nov. 11.
“As bishops chosen, consecrated and assigned by the Church, we declare once again our commitment to be faithful to this covenant we have made,” the letter said. “As the Council of Bishops we will uphold the Book of Discipline as established by General Conference.”
The bishops’ statement marked the first time the council as a body has addressed the pledges to bless same-sex unions signed this year by more than 1,000 United Methodist clergy across the United States. In the New York Annual (regional) Conference, 732 lay people also have signed “a covenant of conscience” in support of such unions.