That Day When 125 Oklahoma United Methodist Ministers Stood Up Publicly for Marriage Equality and Full Participation of LGBTQ Persons in the United Methodist Church

OKUMC for LGBT Equality That Day is today! In Oklahoma’s two most widely circulated newspapers, The Oklahoman and the Tulsa World, 96 Oklahoma United Methodist Ministers signed an open letter to the people of Oklahoma that speaks out against the rules and practices of the United Methodist Church that discriminate against persons who are LGBTQ. Since the time the letter was submitted for publication, the number of clergy signatories has risen to 125, and now Oklahoma United Methodist laity are signing on as well. To add your name go to this link: http://www.okumcforequality.org/

In 1998, ten Oklahoma United Methodist clergy publicly declared their support for all couples, regardless of gender, to be able to celebrate the rites of their union in the United Methodist Church. Sixteen years later, same gender marriage is now legal in Oklahoma, and there is a over a 12-fold increase in the number of Oklahoma United Methodist clergy who are publicly supporting marriage equality.

That so many clergy want to have their names printed in Oklahoma’s two major newspapers in support of marriage equality and full participation of LGBTQ persons in ordained ministry is a symbol of great hope for the creation of a more inclusive community both in our state and within our churches. It is a symbol that support for our beloved LGBTQ sisters and brothers will continue to grow and that we  will continue to openly and publicly challenge the practices of discrimination within our denomination. Today is a day to express faith, hope, and love that will be lived out through justice for all people. Today is the day when 125 Oklahoma United Methodist clergy stood up publicly for marriage equality and for full participation of LGBTQ persons in the United Methodist Church.

Here is the letter and the clergy who signed it:

OPEN LETTER TO THE PEOPLE OF OKLAHOMA

The United Methodist Church’s official teaching is that homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching while at the same time God’s grace is available to all. We have church laws in place forbidding clergy from performing same gender weddings and forbidding non-celibate LGBT clergy from being ordained. Nevertheless, there are many United Methodist clergy and laity who are not in agreement with our church’s current rules and teachings. Our denomination allows for open discussion of ideas, dissent, and has a process for creating change in our rules. Our denomination’s top legislative body (General Conference) is the only entity that can speak on behalf of the denomination, yet we know many faithful United Methodist Christians wish to see a church fully inclusive of the LGBT community. We respectfully and humbly argue that United Methodists are not of one mind in our understanding of human sexuality and homosexuality. Through our engagement with scripture, tradition, reason, and experience, we have come to affirm the rights and dignity of all persons regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity.

We celebrate the freedoms coming to the LGBT community in Oklahoma and we pledge our love, affirmation and equal treatment to all persons. We do so as we continue to pray and work for a fully inclusive United Methodist Church.

Signed….

CLERGY

  1. Rev. Jim Gragg
  2. Rev. Trina Bose North
  3. Rev. Scott Spencer
  4. Rev. Jack Terrell-Wilkes
  5. Rev. Shelly Daigle
  6. Rev. Jeni Markham Clewell
  7. Rev. Nathan Mattox
  8. Rev. Dr. Mark Davies
  9. Rev. Paul W. Calkin
  10. Rev. Dr. Allen Buck
  11. Rev. Deborah Ingraham
  12. Rev. Bill Todd
  13. Rev. John D. Rusty Williams
  14. Rev. Valerie Steele
  15. Rev. Glenda Skinner-Noble
  16. Rev. Dr. Rex Wilkes
  17. Rev. Diana Cox Crawford
  18. Rev. David Rose
  19. Rev. Susan Ross
  20. Rev. Jeannie Himes
  21. Rev. Twila Gibbens
  22. Rev. Dennis Adlof
  23. Rev. Carole Minter
  24. Rev. Amy Venable
  25. Rev. Ed Light
  26. Rev. Anthony Zahn
  27. Rev. Margaret A. Ball
  28. Rev. Ginger Howl
  29. Rev. Dr. Leslie Long
  30. Rev. Margaret North
  31. Rev. Phil Jones
  32. Rev. Denny Hook
  33. Rev. Dr. Kirt E. Moelling
  34. Rev. Mike DeMoss
  35. Rev. Jennifer Long
  36. Rev. Sharon Betsworth
  37. Rev. Bruce Davis
  38. Rev. David Wiggs
  39. Rev. Bill Crowell
  40. Rev. Sonja Tobey
  41. Rev. Susanna Weslie Southard
  42. Rev. Jim Wilson
  43. Rev Dr Ellen Blue
  44. Rev. Dr. Grayson L Lucky
  45. Rev. Dr. Sheila Combs-Francis
  46. Rev. Tracy Schumpert
  47. Rev. Guy Langston
  48. Rev Marilynn Schellhamer
  49. Rev Linda Muterspaugh
  50. Rev. Kay Shock
  51. Rev. James Jones
  52. Rev. Marla Lobo
  53. Rev. Dr. Elizabeth Box Price
  54. Rev. John Price
  55. Rev. Dr. Sandy Wylie
  56. Rev. Mark Whitley
  57. Rev. Joel Betow
  58. Rev. Montie Jones
  59. Rev. Galeda Jones
  60. Rev. Glen Chebon Kernell
  61. Rev. Leroy Thompson
  62. Rev. Neal Baumwart
  63. Rev. Bill Hathaway
  64. Rev. Ginny Hathaway
  65. Rev. Rebecca Morton
  66. Rev. Daniel K Fletcher
  67. Rev. Warren K. Russell
  68. Rev. Susan Southall
  69. Rev. Suzanne Davis
  70. Rev. Marilyn Weathers
  71. Rev. Ron Weathers
  72. Rev. Ken Tobler
  73. Rev. Dr. Stan Basler
  74. Rev. Neil C Winslow
  75. Rev. Dr. Bill Moorer
  76. Rev. Josh Langille-Hoppe
  77. Rev. Dr. David Severe
  78. Rev. Dr. Phil Fenn
  79. Rev. John Adams
  80. Rev. Terry Martindale
  81. Rev. Linda McFadden
  82. Rev. Dr. Perry L. Williams
  83. Rev. Richard Whetsell
  84. Rev. Roger R. Wood
  85. Rev. Mary Lue Eastmond
  86. Rev. Bob Gardenhire
  87. Rev. Michael Asher
  88. Rev. David Clewell
  89. Rev. David Conrad
  90. Rev. April Coates
  91. Rev. Dr. Charlotte Teel
  92. Rev. Dr. Gene Hunt
  93. Rev. Helen Taylor
  94. Rev. Dr. William R. Chace
  95. Rev. Richard Cato
  96. Rev. Adam Leathers
  97. Rev. Pam Cottrill
  98. Rev. Marcia Shoemaker
  99. Rev. Linda Lusnia
  100. Rev. Carolyn Murrow
  101. Rev. Dan Frisby
  102. Rev. Susan Marks
  103. Rev. Charles King
  104. Rev. Keith O. McArtor
  105. Rev. Don Tabberer
  106. Rev. Anne Clement
  107. Rev. Norman V Wasson
  108. Rev. Ed Cook
  109. Rev. Mary Ann Emmons
  110. Rev. Mary L. Ewing
  111. Rev. Ruth Karns Atterberry
  112. Rev. Sara Pugh Montgomery
  113. Rev. Connell Ghormley
  114. Rev. Kristiane Smith
  115. Rev. John M. Morgan
  116. Rev Jen Logsdon-Kellogg
  117. Rev. Linda Pope
  118. Rev. Don Nelson
  119. Rev. Richard Mauldin
  120. Rev. Dr. Jerald Walker
  121. Rev. Phil Ware
  122. Rev. Dale Tremper
  123. Rev. James W. Edmiso
  124. Rev. Cindy Mayes
  125. Rev. Doug McPherson
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About Mark Y. A. Davies

Mark Davies is The Wimberly Professor of Social and Ecological Ethics and Director of the World House Institute for Social and Ecological Responsibility at Oklahoma City University. From 2009 to 2015, Mark was dean of the Petree College of Arts and Sciences and Wimberly Professor of Social Ethics at Oklahoma City University. Previously, Mark was dean of the Wimberly School of Religion at Oklahoma City University and Founding Director of the Vivian Wimberly Center for Ethics and Servant Leadership. Prior to becoming dean of the Wimberly School of Religion in 2002, he was associate dean of the Petree College of Arts and Sciences at Oklahoma City University and chair of the department of philosophy. Mark has published in the areas of Boston personalism, process philosophy and ethics, and ecological ethics. Dr. Davies serves on the United Methodist University Senate, which is “an elected body of professionals in higher education created by the General Conference to determine which schools, colleges, universities, and theological schools meet the criteria for listing as institutions affiliated with The United Methodist Church.” He and his wife Kristin live in Edmond, OK in the United States, and they have two daughters. The views expressed by the author in this blog do not necessarily represent the views of Oklahoma City University.
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11 Responses to That Day When 125 Oklahoma United Methodist Ministers Stood Up Publicly for Marriage Equality and Full Participation of LGBTQ Persons in the United Methodist Church

  1. Ruth Atterberry says:

    Prayers of gratitude for the ten prophets.

  2. Laura says:

    This means so much to so many people in Oklahoma. THANK YOU!

  3. Pingback: LGBTQ Inclusion in the United Methodist Church | IMPACTmagazine.us

  4. Linda Pope says:

    i signed but my name is not on the list

  5. Katherine (Katie) Goss says:

    I would like to sign this statement. Is this where I do that? Katherine (Katie) Goss

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