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Michigan clergy react to Methodist Church vote to keep same-sex marriage ban

Michigan clergy react to United Methodist Church vote to keep ban on same-sex marriage
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Delegates from the United Methodist Church voted Tuesday to continue a ban on same-sex marriage and gay and lesbian clergy.

The proposal - called the Traditional Plan - was approved by church members at the United Methodist General Conference in St. Louis.

Bishop David Bard is the presiding bishop in Michigan. He says he feels some personal disappointment over the vote in favor of the Traditional Plan.

“Primarily because I know that the language in the Traditional Plan has been very hurtful to LGBTQ people and their families,” Bard said.

Bard says he would still like clarification on some elements of the plan. He says he is urging people to not make any immediate decisions about whether they will leave the church.

“I continue to be the bishop for all United Methodists in Michigan – those with whom I may have agreed on issues and those with who I disagree,” Bard said.

Two clergy members with Michigan's United Methodist churches, one on each side of this debate, joined Stateside today to give their reactions to Tuesday’s vote.

Reverend Joy Moore is with Bethel United Methodist Church in Flint.

"There are so many other necessary needs in people's lives that are not focused on who they are sleeping with. I would like to see our denomination focus on other needs,” Moore said.

Reverend Tim Ziegler is the pastor of West Side United Methodist Church in Ann Arbor.

"I, and many of my colleagues throughout the United States, the state of Michigan, the city of Ann Arbor and throughout the globe are really heartbroken today,” Ziegler said.

You can hear their full conversation with Stateside above.

Paulette is a digital media reporter and producer for Michigan Public. She started as a newsroom intern at the station in 2014 and has taken on various roles in that time, including filling in as an on-air host.
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