For immediate release: December 5, 2019 (updated December 9, 2019)
Contact: Pat Luna, 334-202-9440, firstname.lastname@example.org
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Resist Harm movement kicks-off, launches web tool for faithful resistance to the anti-LGBTQ Traditional Plan.
United Methodist Church leaders have come together under the moniker Resist Harm to oppose the discriminatory Traditional Plan through prayer, education, direct action, clergy support, and more, and they are asking others to join them.
“The church's stance against LGBTQ people results in cruelty, discrimination, isolation and spiritual exile,” said Pat Luna, one of the leaders of Resist Harm. “We believe that the call of Christ to the Church is expressed in our baptismal vows to resist evil, injustice and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves, so we are taking a stand.”
The Resist Harm movement has three goals:
- To stand in solidarity against harmful and discriminatory UMC practices and language and in shared witness as a Church committed to justice for and in ministry with all persons.
- To raise the visibility of United Methodists who seek a church that affirms all ages, nations, races, classes, cultures, gender identities, sexual orientations and abilities.
- To support those directly experiencing harm because of the discriminatory and punitive provisions of the Traditional Plan.
The group has launched ResistHarm.com to support individuals, local groups and churches who also oppose the church’s anti-LGBTQ stance. The website contains tools and resources on prayer, worship, education, direct action, clergy support, and social media use. The website will be updated regularly.
The Traditional Plan, adopted narrowly by delegates at this year’s United Methodist Special General Conference, mandates that clergy who are found guilty by trial of performing one same-sex wedding, regardless of circumstances, are suspended for a minimum of one year without pay. The second time, they are stripped of their credentials. The plan also prohibits bishops from ordaining “self-avowed” homosexuals and places additional punitive measures in the already discriminatory Book of Discipline, singling out LGBTQ persons for harm.
Same-sex marriage is legal in the United States and is supported by a majority of Americans, according to a 2019 poll conducted by the Pew Research Center. LGBTQ affirmation is also a safeguard against harm. According to The Trevor Project in 2018, youth who report having at least one LGBTQ-affirming adult were 40% less likely to report a suicide attempt in the past year.
Many groups within the United Methodist Church have signed on to support Resist Harm, including UMCNext, Reconciling Ministries Network, Methodist Federation for Social Action, Mainstream, Uniting Methodists, Western Methodist Justice Movement, UM Scholars, All Belong, Affirmation, and Love your Neighbor Coalition with more joining weekly.