2016 General Conference Legislation

The General Conference of The United Methodist Church convened in May of 2016 in Portland, OR to vote on proposed legislation. Two of GCSRW’s key pieces of legislation passed by the General Conference. The following talking points give a brief rundown of those key pieces of legislation that passed. For more information about Paragraph 4, Article IV, please visit its talking points on our website.

  1. Ensuring inclusiveness of gender and age in the worldwide UMC”
    Book of Discipline Paragraph 4. Article IV

    Rationale:  Adding “gender” (meaning male and female) to the Constitution affirms and protects the UMC’s commitment to gender equity throughout our worldwide connection.  “Gender” is the disciplinary term for fair treatment of women and men (e.g., ¶16). 

    • The addition of the proposed final clause allows gender-specific groups like UMW and UMM.
    • Having “gender” in The UMC Constitution is important in promoting equity throughout our worldwide connection.  
  2. “New Social Principle: Pornography”  
     Add new Social Principle to ¶ 161 Book of Discipline

    Rationale: Considering the pervasiveness of pornography, it is important that the Church address the harm that pornography use can cause to individuals, families, and communities. Pornography is notoriously difficult to define, so we must define what it is about pornography that we find objectionable: violence, abuse, coercion, domination, humiliation, and degradation.

    • Currently pornography is not addressed in The Book of Discipline, though it is a behavior included in the chargeable offense of sexual misconduct.  The new Social Principle will do this.  
    • GCSRW’s experience of working within the Church in prevention and response to sexual misconduct reveals the disturbing growth of the industry of pornography.  The development of a new Social Principle on Pornography seeks to offer an avenue for the Church to name and address the harm caused by pornography.  

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