Friday, June 16, 2006

And again I say, I'm proud to be a DSW Methodist

A press release from the Desert Southwest Annual Conference last week.

For Immediate Release
Update June 15, 2006

United Methodists Oppose Arizona Marriage Amendment

Churches in the Desert Southwest Conference of the United Methodist Church , which encompasses the entire state of Arizona , took a strong stand in opposition to a constitutional initiative commonly called the "Protect Marriage Amendment" which reads:

"To preserve and protect marriage in this State, only a union between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage by this state or it political subdivisions and no legal status for unmarried persons shall be created or recognized by this state or it's political subdivisions that is similar to that of marriage."

The resolution to oppose the marriage amendment titled "Protection of Human and Civil Rights" was passed with a wide margin by the Desert Southwest conference during their annual meeting in Scottsdale held from June 7 to June 11 at the Doubletree Resort.



Resolution 21.30
PROTECTION OF HUMAN AND CIVIL RIGHTS
(Submitted by Church and Society)

Whereas Christians have always been people of the covenant,

Whereas nowhere in Scripture are people prohibited from making covenants or committed promises to each other.

Whereas people who live in covenant should be able to exercise that commitment in hospital visitations, inheritance matters, child custody and other family matters without interference from the state.

Whereas marriages are threatened by forces within marriage such as infidelity, violence, addictions, lack of communication and commitment, not how marriage is defined.

Whereas it is the responsibility of the Church to be in active ministry with homosexual persons, no less than heterosexual persons in all their respective challenges and dimensions of life, and

Whereas the Constitution of the State of Arizona has been established in an attempt to ensure the rights of all citizens of the State, and

Whereas the formation of families has been supported by many civil guarantees including protecting the rights of couple to health benefits, hospital visitation rights, inheritance rights, child custody rights and many others, and

Whereas same sex couples of the State of Arizona are already denied many of these rights, and

Whereas the proposed Constitutional Amendment reads:

"To preserve and protect marriage in this State, only a union between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage by this state or it political subdivisions and no legal status for unmarried persons shall be created or recognized by this state or it political subdivisions that is similar to that of marriage."

Whereas Arizona voters are being asked to support a Constitutional amendment the result of which will prohibit the State, counties, cities and school districts from offering employee benefits for unmarried partners, straight or gay, and this ballot initiative targets Arizonans who live together for financial and other reasons. It would prevent such couples from obtaining any legal recognition, including policies necessary for medical safety and retirement. Further, it would seize the decision making authority of local communities and force repeal of domestic partner benefits now provided by the cities of Phoenix , Tucson , Scottsdale and Tempe .

Whereas the ballot initiatives currently being proposed to amend the State Constitution will further erode these rights,

Therefore be it resolved that the Desert Southwest Annual Conference oppose this Amendment and we ask the Conference Secretary to communicate this resolution to all elected State officials and major media in Arizona markets.

And be it further resolved that political leaders and faith communities be challenged to focus their energies on the forces such as those named above that are truly undermining marriages and destroying families.

Resolution Passed Saturday June 10, 2006
Scottsdale, Arizona


Contact Steve Hustedt, Director of Communications
Desert Southwest Conference
The United Methodist Church
1550 E. Meadowbrook
Phoenix, Arizona 85014-4040

602.266.6956
800.229.8622
602.266.5343 (fax)
602.266.2196 (fax)

6 Comments:

At 8:18 PM, Anonymous Larry said...

Yea, I'm real proud too. When the annual conference has to let one of their churches leave the denomination because of the Annual Conferences stand on issues like homosexuality it's a great day. Maybe the Desert Southwest can be the model for how we go about splitting. By the property from the conference, pay your years apportionment and you can leave with it all.

 
At 12:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations! I thought about you when I read this news this fine morn. --adam s.

 
At 4:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How can this be reconciled with our Lord’s teaching on marriage?
In both the Gospels of Mark and Matthew Jesus taught that marriage is between one mane and one woman. Jesus was explicit in mentioning the heterosexual nature of marriage.

The Desert Southwest Conference encompasses the fastest growing population in the US and yet it losses membership almost every year. Do you suppose it has anything to do with the anti biblical discourse within the Conference?

Clearly God is not blessing the conference or the UMC with new members or a greater stewardship opportunities.

- Still a Methodist

 
At 4:42 AM, Blogger Bad Methodist said...

What I want to know is how supporters of this vicious and mean-spirited initiative can reconcile that with Christ's love and mercy? Have you seen what's happened in other states because of these amendments? In Ohio, domestic violence laws invalidated for anyone who isn't married. Families and children losing health insurance. Hate crimes on the increase. This is what I can't reconclie with our Lord's teaching.

 
At 6:09 PM, Blogger Still a Methodist said...

One of the greatest strengths of our denomination is our size. When working together the Methodist Church is unstoppable. In early times in order to help deliver medical care our denomination actually built hospitals. To help people better their standard of living we built schools and colleges. Millions of people in Western Africa and the South Pacific have an opportunity of a better life because of the faithful service of the Methodist Saints of past generations.

Our generation does not do any of these things. We sit and argue about the homosexual political agenda and issues such as whether or not it is proper to eat at Taco Bell or use Styrofoam cups. We do this while we watch our church shrink in numbers month by month and become less capable of any form of action. We have become a church of all talk and no walk.

When the Apostle Paul wrote to the church in Phillipi and asked for unity he acknowledged that there will be times of dissagrement. The solution the Bible provides is that while we are waiting for God to reveal to all his will to us all we are ‘to obey the truth we have learned already” ( Phillipians 3:16 NLT) There is agreement on the needs to minister to the physical needs of this broken word, but there is no consensus on the issue of homosexual marriage. Can we not work together on issues we agree upon?

-Still a Methodist

 
At 8:41 AM, Blogger Bad Methodist said...

There is agreement on the needs to minister to the physical needs of this broken word, but there is no consensus on the issue of homosexual marriage. Can we not work together on issues we agree upon?

YES! I wish we would! But when a really scary and ugly amendment like this is proposed, I think it's incumbent upon us to speak up for justice. That doesn't mean we stop the other things, but we have to be a voice against this amendment, and it really is ugly. I've read a lot about amendments in other states, and their consequences really scare me. So yes, I wish we could agree to disagree on issues surrounding same-sex couples, but we can't do that by standing by and letting families be actively torn apart.

 

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