United Methodist delegates defeat bid to ease LGBT bans


ST. LOUIS (AP) — The United Methodist Church faces a likely surge in defections and acts of defiance now that delegates have rejected a move to ease the church’s ban on same-sex marriage and ordination of LGBT clergy.

The delegates from the U.S. and abroad are meeting in St. Louis to set policy for America’s second-largest Protestant denomination, with 12.6 million members worldwide, including nearly 7 million in the United States.

The vote was taken Tuesday. Delegates are now taking up a competing measure that would tighten enforcement of the LGBT bans and encourage Methodists who opposed those policies to leave the church.

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