Originally published on One World House

That Day is today! In Oklahoma’s two most widely circulated newspapers, The Oklahoman and the Tulsa World, 96 Oklahoma United Methodist Ministers signed an open letter to the people of Oklahoma that speaks out against the rules and practices of the United Methodist Church that discriminate against persons who are LGBT. Since the time the letter was submitted for publication, the number of clergy signatories has risen to 100 (Update: the number is 107 as of 9:25 a.m. October 15, 2014), and now Oklahoma United Methodist laity are signing on as well. To add your name go to this link:http://www.okumcforequality.org/

In 1998, ten Oklahoma United Methodist clergy publicly declared their support for all couples, regardless of gender, to be able to celebrate the rites of their union in the United Methodist Church. Sixteen years later, same gender marriage is now legal in Oklahoma, and there is at least a ten-fold increase in the number of Oklahoma United Methodist clergy who are publicly supporting marriage equality.

That so many clergy want to have their names printed in Oklahoma’s two major newspapers in support of marriage equality and full participation of LGBT persons in ordained ministry is a symbol of great hope for the creation of a more inclusive community both in our state and within our churches. It is a symbol that support for our beloved LGBT sisters and brothers will continue to grow and that we  will continue to openly and publicly challenge the practices of discrimination within our denomination. Today is a day to express faith, hope, and love that will be lived out through justice for all people. Today is the day when 100 Oklahoma United Methodist clergy stood up publicly for marriage equality and for full participation of LGBT persons in the United Methodist Church.


Here is the letter and the clergy who signed it:

OPEN LETTER TO THE PEOPLE OF OKLAHOMA

The United Methodist Church’s official teaching is that homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching while at the same time God’s grace is available to all. We have church laws in place forbidding clergy from performing same gender weddings and forbidding non-celibate LGBT clergy from being ordained. Nevertheless, there are many United Methodist clergy and laity who are not in agreement with our church’s current rules and teachings.

Our denomination allows for open discussion of ideas, dissent, and has a process for creating change in our rules. Our denomination’s top legislative body (General Conference) is the only entity that can speak on behalf of the denomination, yet we know many faithful United Methodist Christians wish to see a church fully inclusive of the LGBT community. We respectfully and humbly argue that United Methodists are not of one mind in our understanding of human sexuality and homosexuality. Through our engagement with scripture, tradition, reason, and experience, we have come to affirm the rights and dignity of all persons regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity.

We celebrate the freedoms coming to the LGBT community in Oklahoma and we pledge our love, affirmation and equal treatment to all persons. We do so as we continue to pray and work for a fully inclusive United Methodist Church.

Signed….

 

CLERGY

  1. Rev. Jim Gragg
  2. Rev. Trina Bose North
  3. Rev. Scott Spencer
  4. Rev. Jack Terrell-Wilkes
  5. Rev. Shelly Daigle
  6. Rev. Jeni Markham Clewell
  7. Rev. Nathan Mattox
  8. Rev. Dr. Mark Davies
  9. Rev. Paul W. Calkin
  10. Rev. Dr. Allen Buck
  11. Rev. Deborah Ingraham
  12. Rev. Bill Todd
  13. Rev. John D. Rusty Williams
  14. Rev. Valerie Steele
  15. Rev. Glenda Skinner-Noble
  16. Rev. Dr. Rex Wilkes
  17. Rev. Diana Cox Crawford
  18. Rev. David Rose
  19. Rev. Susan Ross
  20. Rev. Jeannie Himes
  21. Rev. Twila Gibbens
  22. Rev. Dennis Adlof
  23. Rev. Carole Minter
  24. Rev. Amy Venable
  25. Rev. Ed Light
  26. Rev. Anthony Zahn
  27. Rev. Margaret A. Ball
  28. Rev. Ginger Howl
  29. Rev. Dr. Leslie Long
  30. Rev. Margaret North
  31. Rev. Phil Jones
  32. Rev. Denny Hook
  33. Rev. Dr. Kirt E. Moelling
  34. Rev. Mike DeMoss
  35. Rev. Jennifer Long
  36. Rev. Sharon Betsworth
  37. Deaconess Pat Hoerth
  38. Rev. Bruce Davis
  39. Rev. David Wiggs
  40. Rev. Bill Crowell
  41. Rev. Sonja Tobey
  42. Rev. Susanna Weslie Southard
  43. Rev. Jim Wilson
  44. Rev Dr Ellen Blue
  45. Rev. Dr. Grayson L Lucky
  46. Rev. Dr. Sheila Combs-Francis
  47. Rev. Tracy Schumpert
  48. Rev. Guy Langston
  49. Rev Marilynn Schellhamer
  50. Rev Linda Muterspaugh
  51. Rev. Kay Shock
  52. Rev. James Jones
  53. Rev. Marla Lobo
  54. Rev. Dr. Elizabeth Box Price
  55. Rev. John Price
  56. Rev. Dr. Sandy Wylie
  57. Rev. Mark Whitley
  58. Rev. Joel Betow
  59. Rev. Montie Jones
  60. Rev. Galeda Jones
  61. Rev. Glen Chebon Kernell
  62. Rev. Leroy Thompson
  63. Rev. Neal Baumwart
  64. Rev. Bill Hathaway
  65. Rev. Ginny Hathaway
  66. Rev. Rebecca Morton
  67. Rev. Daniel K Fletcher
  68. Rev. Warren K. Russell
  69. Rev. Susan Southall
  70. Rev. Suzanne Davis
  71. Rev. Marilyn Weathers
  72. Rev. Ron Weathers
  73. Rev. Ken Tobler
  74. Rev. Dr. Stan Basler
  75. Rev. Neil C Winslow
  76. Rev. Dr. Bill Moorer
  77. Rev. Josh Langille-Hoppe
  78. Rev. Dr. David Severe
  79. Rev. Dr. Phil Fenn
  80. Rev. John Adams
  81. Rev. Terry Martindale
  82. Rev. Linda McFadden
  83. Rev. Dr. Perry L. Williams
  84. Rev. Richard Whetsell
  85. Rev. Roger R. Wood
  86. Rev. Mary Lue Eastmond
  87. Rev. Bob Gardenhire
  88. Rev. Michael Asher
  89. Rev. David Clewell
  90. Rev. David Conrad
  91. Rev. April Coates
  92. Rev. Dr. Charlotte Teel
  93. Rev. Dr. Gene Hunt
  94. Rev. Helen Taylor
  95. Rev. Dr. William R. Chace
  96. Rev. Richard Cato
  97. Rev. Adam Leathers
  98. Rev. Pam Cottrill
  99. Rev. Marcia Shoemaker
  100. Rev. Linda Lusnia
  101. Rev. Carolyn Murrow
  102. Rev. Dan Frisby
  103. Rev. Susan Marks
  104. Rev. Ruth Atterberry
  105. Rev. Charles King
  106. Rev. Keith O. McArtor
  107. Rev. Mary L. Ewing
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