Support With Integrity

Why I Support the Simple Plan as the Way Forward for the United Methodist Church.

An alternative to the three plans included in the Bishops’ Report for the Way Forward, The Simple Plan is just that. Simple. The Simple Plan removes all language in the Book of Discipline which discriminates against LGBTQ+ people.

The Simple Plan aligns with the constitution of the UMC. The Simple Plan, unlike the other three, does not include language in the Book of Discipline which causes personal and systemic harm to LGBTQ+ people.

Whatever happens at the Special Called Session of General Conference in 2019, there will still be issues of discrimination against and oppression of LGBTQ+ people in the United Methodist Church, even as the UMC continues to struggle with racism and sexism. Hearts aren’t changed by a vote. The clear distinction, however, is that the Book of Discipline proposed by the other three plans would all include some language which grants permission for United Methodists to discriminate against LGBTQ+ people.

The current book of Discipline REQUIRES United Methodists to discriminate against LGBTQ+ people. The Traditionalist Plan requires even more stringently that all United Methodists discriminate against LGBTQ+ people. The One Church Plan and the Connectional Conferences Plan both codify permission for United Methodists to discriminate against LGBTQ+ people. The Simple Plan removes the requirement to discriminate and does not add in language making it permissible to discriminate.

Robert Jones, Jr., known on social media as “son of Baldwin,” has said, “We can disagree and still love each other unless your disagreement is rooted in my oppression and denial of my humanity and right to exist.” These words keep echoing in my mind as General Conference 2019 draws closer. For me, the Simple Plan is the only current option which removes all the doctrinal roots of oppression and denial of humanity of LGBTQ+ people from codification in our Book of Discipline.

The Simple Plan is the only plan that I can support with integrity as I strive to be an ally with United Methodist LGBTQ+ people across all the conferences of our connection.

Rev. Dr. Mary Kay Totty