?Derby Resolutions’ on sexuality: British Methodist Church
June 29, 2006
|A UMNS photo by Kathleen LaCamera
Conference representatives of the British Methodist Church attend the June 23-29 annual conference in Edinburgh, Scotland.
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
- The conference reaffirms the traditional teaching of the church on human
sexuality; namely chastity for all outside marriage and fidelity within it. The
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.