Local Methodists defy church ruling against LGBTQ+ clergy and same sex marriages


Rainbow flags fly on the sign that welcomes people to the Battle Ground Community United Methodist Church.

Local Methodists are defying a recent decision that bans same sex marriages and LGBTQ+ clergy members. On Tuesday, United Methodist Church (UMC) delegates voted to settle the denomination's stance.

Pastor Susan Boegli said she will continue to perform same sex marriages and is supported by local bishops.

"This past week has been extremely tragic. There has been so much grief for so many people," Pastor Boegli said.

Outside of Vancouver Heights United Methodist Church, the sign reads, ‘for harm done by the church, we are sorry.’

Members of the church said they have long supported LGBTQ+ members and been their allies.

"They been told that they’re not allowed to be in this church, and that’s definitely hurtful. That’s definitely caused damage," said Abigail Niehaus, a Methodist.

Over the last 20 years, Retired Pastor David Tinney of Vancouver First United Methodist, said he has performed numerous same sex weddings.

"No matter what the ruling was we are not going to abide by that (decision)," Retired Pastor Tinney told KATU News.

The church's judicial council is set to review the decision next month.

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