100+ Methodist Clergy Come Out as LGBT

Despite a church ban on “self-avowed practicing homosexuals,” more than 100 United Methodist clergy members came out Monday as gay, lesbian, or bisexual. In the public letter, the pastors, elders, deacons, and candidates for ministry said, “While some of us have been lucky to serve in places where we could serve honestly and openly, there are others in places far more hostile, who continue to serve faithfully even at tremendous cost to themselves, their families, and yes, even the communities they serve, who do not receive the fullness of their pastor’s gifts because a core part must remain hidden.” Church rules require “that we not bring our full selves to ministry, that we hide from view our sexual orientations and gender identities,” the letter reads. The LGBT advocacy group that put the letter together said nearly 80 percent of the missive’s signatories were coming out to their employer for the first time.