Global Ministries Statement on Human Rights for All People

United Methodists are increasingly aware of the violation of human rights through the criminalization of homosexuality in countries such as Uganda, Nigeria, Russia, and India. These unjust measures reflect a concerning trend as reports indicate that five countries make homosexuality a capital offense, and imprisonment is possible in 66 countries.  

This kind of legislation predictably is leading to increased marginalization, harassment, and exploitation in our global civil society.  Whatever our understanding of sexual orientation, the criminalization of homosexuality is not compatible with the United Methodist Social Principles including the one that states that basic rights and civil liberties are “due all persons…regardless of sexual orientation” (BOD par. 162J).

As part of a church with a strong commitment to the full human rights of all people in all societies and under all forms of government (BOD, par. 164A), the General Board of Global Ministries supports the human rights of those being oppressed and threatened on the basis of their sexual orientation.  Two of Global Ministries’ goals are to alleviate human suffering and to seek justice, freedom, and peace. Recognizing our role as a global mission organization that has a history of speaking up and condemning persecution, the General Board of Global Ministries:

  1. Reminds all United Methodists of our church’s strong insistence on the fundamental rights and sacred worth  (BOD, par. 161F) of all persons in all places;
  2. Urges all United Methodists to advocate for full human and civil rights in their respective countries and on the international level;  asking ourselves how we can best protect our family members and neighbors from unjust treatment;
  3. Requests all United Methodists to pray for the victims of repression and deprivation; to pray that all political and economic systems will respect and advocate human rights for all, and to pray for civil discourse on ways to achieve peaceful reconciliation when ethical concepts are in disagreement.

Respect for human rights enhances and extends our Christian opportunities to share the love of God through mission and ministry.

Bishop Hope Morgan Ward, President

Thomas G. Kemper, General Secretary


Media contact: Melissa Hinnen, Director of Public Information 212.870.3833


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  1. Ann

    This is a very hypocritical statement considering the UMC’s failure to be inclusive of gays. I’m a lifelong Methodist and, frankly, I’m ashamed of my denomination! I’ve always thought the UMC was progressive thinking but I was so wrong.The UMC tagline ” open hearts open minds open doors” is a misnomer. Open needs to be changed to closed!!!

  2. G. Tom Poe

    Thanks be to God for this strong statement from the Board of Global Ministries. I’ve been waiting for such a statement. It helps me have faith that being a Global Church still has a Mission to fulfill and that Wesley’s claim that “The World is Our Parish” might still have relevance in the 21st Century. Indeed, “There’s a Wideness in God’s Mercy.” Amen & Amen. – Rev. Dr. G. Tom Poe, Missouri Conference, UMC.

  3. Pastor Chad Jacobs

    All I had to do was read your first sentence about other nations making homosexuality a crime. We give homosexuals foodstamps, housing assistance, employment, and equal opportunities. but we should not bend nature for them and have same sex marriage. If you hate the laws of Moses (which homosexuals are displaying by mocking God’s laws) then you will die without mercy. If you lock up pedophiles, do they say “I am being violated against.” As sin is a sin. If you respect some sinners but not other sinners, you are also a sinner. (James 2:9-13) Read your bible. If you willingly sin after knowing the truth, there is no sacrifice for you. You will die without mercy. (Hebrews 10:26-30) Get off this cause. Those governments follow God’s laws more than you do. (Acts 5:29) To support homosexuals is the same as doing the sin yourself. You cause God’s people to err.

  4. Pastor Chad Jacobs

    Homosexuality is not a human right, it is a human err. They need psychotherapy or prayer to straighten them. Prayer will take out their inner demons. (Mark 9:24-25) ONLY prayer. To allow them to keep their demons is a sin! You are following Satan not God.

  5. Paul Dorsey

    Pastor Chad Jacobs-please tell me your NOT a United Methodist pastor!!! United Methodist pastors are extensively educated and trained. I can’t believe there is a UMC theological seminary that encourages their students to believe in such nonsense as you have stated. No where in the Bible anywhere is their a statement about homosexuality being a sin-no where is the word homosexuality ever mentioned in the Bible. Mr. Jacobs shows no compassion toward these people of faith and wants to demonize gays as being Satanists and that therapy will change gays to be straight-what rubbish! I am a gay Christian, baptized and confirmed in the UMC and at the age of 15, joined the Episcopal Church with my family’s blessing. I am so saddened by his hatred of gays but I know in my heart that I am just as special in God’s eyes as he or anybody else. I further recognize that his ignorance represents a tiny fringe in the church. I think that he, not gays, needs to get some therapy and sincerely transform his heart and mind and become truly accept-
    ing of all of God’s children!!!

  6. Jeanine L.

    Pastor Chad Jacobs your comments are shocking!!!.
    I am so truly sorry Paul that you have to read these things on a Christian website. .I pray that we get it right sooner rather than later. There are decent,loving people in the church who will fight for marriage equality and i am one of them.

  7. Joy Ann

    To those who say the Bible does not address homosexuality, please read Leviticus 18:22 ESV /
    You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.

    1 Corinthians 6:9-11 ESV /
    Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

    Romans 1:26-28 ESV
    For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done

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