Ruling of law

Ministry to the marginalized: welcoming LGBT people into NYAC, petition #2010-304

This resolution was ruled out of order on the conference floor by Bishop Park. MIND challenged his ruling, requesting a ruling of law. Here is the official request and the subsequent ruling.

REQUEST FOR RULING OF LAW:

June 11, 2010

We request a ruling of law regarding in what way petition 2010-304 is in violation of the Discipline, and in particular whether it violates ¶613.20, which vests the Conference Council on Finance and Administration with the responsibility “to ensure that no annual conference board, agency, committee, commission, or council shall give United Methodists funds to any gay caucus or group, or otherwise use such funds to promote the acceptance of homosexuality…”, none of which this petition involves doing.

Dorothee Benz

Kevin M. Nelson

REASON FOR RULING PETITION #2010-304 OUT OF ORDER [Bishop Park, July 8, 2010]:

I ruled the resolution out of order because the resolution requires an advertisement in a public newspaper, which includes a phrase, “NYAC (New York Annual Conference) has long been opposed to UMC (United Methodist Church) policy on homosexuality.” This phrase as a public statement does not accurately define the standing of the New York Annual Conference as it relates to The United Methodist Church policy on homosexuality. That is, the New York Annual Conference has adopted resolutions in opposition to some United Methodist Church policy on homosexuality, but not all. Accordingly, specific United Methodist Church policy on homosexuality to which the New York Annual Conference has voted to express its opposition must be identified with reference to specific paragraphs of the Book of Discipline. Without specific references the advertisement could be construed to imply that the New York Annual Conference holds to a policy that is contrary to The United Methodist Church policy on homosexuality as established in the Book of Discipline or that it opposes specific United Methodist Church disciplinary paragraphs on homosexuality to which the New York Annual Conference has voted its support. The specificity is essential when the New York Annual Conference makes a public advertisement/statement as it relates to United Methodist policy in its name but does not have control of its wording.