Hoping to influence a major church-wide vote on LGBT issues later this week, 111 United Methodist ministers have come out, openly declaring their dual identity as both clergy and LGBT persons. On Monday morning, Reconciling Ministries Network (RMN), an LGBT advocacy group within the United Methodist Church, published a letter signed by the ministers ahead of a gathering in Portland, Oregon, for its UMC General Conference.
The letter in part reads:
"We are here because God has called us to serve in this denomination, and our souls are fed by the theology in which we’ve been raised. We are coming out as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer/Questioning, and Intersex persons at this moment for several reasons. Foremost, we want you to know we still love you and seek to remain in relationship with you. Even if we should leave and you seek more restrictive language against LGBTQI persons, know that God will continue to move mysteriously in the hearts of LGBTQI young people and adults and will call them to serve within this denomination. You cannot legislate against God’s call. The “LGBTQI issue” is not one that can be resolved through restrictive legislation but instead by seeing that all persons are made in the image of God and welcomed into the community of faith. (source)