The Western Pennsylvania Conference of The United Methodist Church held its annual conference meeting June 2-4, 2022 at the Erie Bayfront Convention Center in Erie, Pa. | Western PA Conference of the UMC
A Pennsylvania-based regional body of The United Methodist Church recently approved a resolution denouncing biological males participating in female-only sports.
The UMC Western Pennsylvania Conference voted to adopt a resolution titled “End Degrading Behavior Against Female Athletes” (P14) at their annual conference, held June 2-4 at the Erie Bayfront Convention Center in Erie, Pennsylvania.
Conference spokesperson Jackie Campbell provided The Christian Post with a copy of P14, which states that “members of one sex are left more vulnerable in relationships than members of another with regards to biological men participating in female sports.”
“[B]iological men who participate in female sports are eliminating opportunities for women to enjoy the benefits of fair competition, and diminish and demean their hard earned athletic accomplishments,” continued the resolution, adopted on June 4.
“Pennsylvania has a clear example of this in the case of the University of Pennsylvania’s swimmer Lia Thomas who as a biological man holds an unfair advantage over competition in a women’s category, as evidenced by Thomas’ rankings that have bounced from No. 462 as a male to No. 1 as a female.”
The Western Pennsylvania Conference of The United Methodist Church held its annual conference meeting June 2-4, 2022, at the Erie Bayfront Convention Center in Erie, Pennsylvania. | Western PA Conference of the UMC
The resolution called on “the Pennsylvania General Assembly to immediately enact legislation that would bar biological males from competing in female exclusive sports competitions and participating as members of female exclusive teams.”
“[T]he Western PA Conference encourages United Methodist Advocacy in Pennsylvania to petition for the enactment of this legislation by the Pennsylvania General Assembly, and to produce a report of actions they have taken and the results of their work,” the resolution added.
The Republican-controlled Pennsylvania House of Representatives approved House Bill 972 also known as the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act, earlier this year. The Republican-controlled Senate has yet to vote on the measure and Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf has indicated that he would veto the bill if it reached his desk.
Delegates at the annual conference also passed a resolution titled “Guidance on Local Church Reporting” (P23) which called on the General Council on Finance & Administration to quit offering the option of “non-binary” as a gender identity when recording church membership.
The P14 resolution passed at the legislative committee level in a vote of 33 in favor and 24 opposed. Campbell told CP that P23 passed legislative committee in a vote of 51 in favor, 40 opposed and six abstentions.
John Lomperis, director of United Methodist Action for the Institute on Religion & Democracy, told CP in an interview this week that he considered the resolutions a “very welcome development.”
“It shows that a great many rank-and-file United Methodists are not drinking the woke Kool-Aid,” said Lomperis. “These official United Methodist resolutions were compassionate stances for true social justice, resisting radical transgender ideology that is harmful to ALL it touches, including but not limited to women’s sports.”
Although the UMC officially bars the ordination of noncelibate homosexuals and the blessing of same-sex unions, many leaders and churches within the denomination have continually refused to enforce those rules.
Lomperis speculated that, although many conservative churches are leaving the UMC, more legislation like that passed in Western Pennsylvania could emerge in the coming years.
“To the extent that heavy-handed bishops explicitly invite conservatives to remain United Methodist, telling us ‘there is room for ALL, even you conservatives,’ and/or choose to make it needlessly difficult to leave the UMC, they are inviting us to stay and continue pursuing faithfulness as we understand it,” Lomperis told CP.
“This means perhaps becoming even bolder in promoting our conservative biblical values within the UMC, and to use what we can of our denomination’s conferences and other structures to promote conservative, biblical values in society, in the name of United Methodism.”
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