As United Methodist General Conference 2020 election results come in, I go back and forth about being hopeful in relation to the gains being made by progressives and centrists. I am hopeful because it is apparent that about 3/4 of the newly elected delegates from the U.S. conferences will vote to reject the punitive anti-LGBTQIA+ Traditionalist Plan that was passed at the 2019 General Conference. I am concerned however that it is likely the traditionalists will still get the 50%+1 they will need for the Traditionalist Plan to be upheld at the 2020 General Conference owing to the large number of traditionalist delegates outside of the United States.
I am hopeful because even if the traditionalists get 50% + 1 of the votes to uphold the Traditionalist Plan, it is clear that it will be nearly impossible to enforce such a plan in the United States with so many conferences and churches standing up in opposition. However, I am concerned that at General Conference 2020 we will see some sort of “compromise” made for unity, like the One Church Plan, that will once again be made at the expense of our LGBTQIA+ siblings.
General Conference 2019 made it clear that the only way to hold global United Methodism together as one denomination would be to allow a significant number of our conferences and churches to discriminate against persons who are LGBTQIA-+ and exclude them from the full life and ministry of the United Methodist Church. This is too high of a price to pay for unity.
I hope that General Conference 2020 will allow the current global United Methodist denomination to pass away in such a way that a new Methodism will be created in which all of our LGBTQIA+ siblings will know that their sacred worth equates to equal treatment as they are fully celebrated and affirmed as members of the Beloved Community of all persons and all creation. Unity based on discrimination and unequal treatment is and always will be oppressive.