The Methodist church became the largest religious denomination to allow same-sex marriages in the UK, following support for a change in the definition of marriage at a conference on June 30.
Following a 254:46 vote, marriage for the Methodist church is now defined as “a lifelong union in body, mind and spirit of two people who freely enter it”.
The same conference also voted to recognize, accept, and celebrate the love and commitment of unmarried cohabiting couples.
There is no information available yet on how this will impact congregations of the Methodist church, including in the Philippines. However, past efforts of the National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP) have highlighted the continuously evolving treatment of churches – including of the United Methodist Church, a member of NCCP – of LGBTQIA people in faith.
So as not to impose on those who may still be anti-LGBTQIA, the Methodist church introduced a “freedom of conscience clause” that allows ministers to opt out of conducting same-sex marriages.