The United Methodist Church has been in conflict over lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender inclusion issues since 1972. That year, in response to the gay liberation and gay rights movements, wording was added to the UMC Book of Discipline (the compilation of denominational policies and doctrines) characterizing homosexuality as "incompatible with Christian teaching." Since then, United Methodist ministers have been forbidden to perform same-sex commitment ceremonies (and United Methodist churches forbidden to host them), a rule has been passed that non-heterosexual United Methodist ministers must be celibate, and the UMC has forbidden the funding of any program or organization "supporting" homosexuality. These policies have been met with significant resistance by those fighting for GLBT inclusion. In this groundbreaking book, Udis-Kessler examines this struggle, analyzing both sides of this divisive debate among one of the most prominent religious organizations in the United States.
1. Introduction 2. History and Participants 3. Research Methodology 4. General Conference 2000: Selected Field Notes 5. Analytic Perspectives: Culture Wars 6. Analytic Perspectives: Homophobia and Heterosexism 7. Analytic Perspectives: Social Closure 8. Analytic Perspectives: Contradictory Institutional Logics 9. Implications and Possibilities