A press release from a lay group of the Methodist Church in Northern Illinois:
Bishop’s statement does not represent Church on Gay Marriage
In response to United Methodist Bishop Sally Dyck’s endorsement of gay marriage, the Northern Illinois Conference Evangelical Association (NICEA) Chairman, James Blue, issued the following statement:
“What Bishop Dyck has expressed is her personal opinion.
“It does not reflect the official position of the United Methodist Church in which the definition of marriage as ‘the union of one man and one woman’ was first articulated in 1972.
“A separate but related action in 2004 called upon the church to ‘support laws in civil society that define marriage as the union of one man and one woman.’
Unfortunately, the general public will assume that Bishop Dyck speaks for our entire Church.
“She does not.
“Support for traditional marriage has received overwhelming majority support at all recent quadrennial General Conferences where all United Methodists are represented.
“Support of traditional marriage is the one issue, among all sexually-related issues, that garners the broadest support within the Church.
“We regret the disunity that Bishop Dyck’s statement will inevitably bring to local congregations and we encourage the Illinois General Assembly to find another way to ensure the civil rights of gay couples without redefining marriage which has for millennia, been the foundational unit of human society.”