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?Derby Resolutions’ on sexuality: British Methodist Church

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A UMNS photo by Kathleen LaCamera

Conference representatives of the British Methodist Church attend the June 23-29 annual conference in Edinburgh, Scotland.
June 29, 2006

By Kathleen LaCamera*

EDINBURGH, Scotland (UMNS) — The 1993 Derby Conference Resolutions on Human Sexuality, nicknamed “The Derby Resolutions,” refers to the six resolutions passed at the 1993 Annual Conference of the British Methodist Church held in the city of Derby.

Some consider the resolutions as the foundation glue that has held the church together during the past 13 years. Others see them as a set of statements that belong to a different time and context from which the British Methodist Church has moved on.

Resolutions four and six generate the most heated discussions and are often cited as contradictory, something which is problematic or creative, depending on who is doing the citing.

These are the six resolutions that serve as the foundation for the British Methodist Church’s position on human sexuality:

  • The conference, affirming the joy of human sexuality as God’s gift and the place of every human being within the grace of God, recognizes the responsibility that flows from this for us all. It therefore welcomes the serious, prayerful and sometimes costly consideration given to this issue by the Methodist Church.
  • All practices of sexuality which are promiscuous, exploitative or demeaning in any way are unacceptable forms of behavior and contradict God’s purpose for us all.
  • A person shall not be debarred from church on the grounds of sexual orientation in itself.
  • The conference reaffirms the traditional teaching of the church on human sexuality; namely chastity for all outside marriage and fidelity within it. The conference directs that this affirmation is made clear to all candidates for ministry, office and membership, and having established this, affirms that the existing procedures of our church are adequate to deal with all such cases.
  • The conference resolves that its decisions in this debate shall not be used to form the basis of a disciplinary charge against any person in relation to conduct alleged to have taken place before such decisions were made.
  • The conference recognizes, affirms and celebrates the participation and ministry of lesbians and gay men in the church. The conference calls on the Methodist people to begin a pilgrimage of faith to combat repression and discrimination, to work for justice and human rights and to give dignity and worth to people whatever their sexuality.

*LaCamera is a UMNS correspondent based in England.

News media contact: Linda Bloom, New York, (646) 369-3759 or newsdesk@umcom.org.

 
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