Delegates to the 2018 South Georgia Annual Conference, meeting June 3-5 on Jekyll Island, will revote on a proposed amendment to the UMC constitution dealing with women’s equality.
It was announced May 10 that an error had been made in the text of proposed Constitutional Amendment I as it was presented to annual conferences for voting. The amendment needed 66.7 percent of the votes to pass and only received 66.5.
The amendment was among five constitutional amendments approved by the 2016 General Conference and presented to annual conferences for vote in 2017. Amendment I was one of two that did not pass. A sentence that should not have been included was removed by a vote of 746-56 of the 2016 General Conference but was inadvertently included in the version that was distributed.
That sentence read:
“The United Methodist Church recognizes it is contrary to Scripture and to logic to say that God is male or female, as maleness and femaleness are characteristics of human bodies and cultures, not characteristics of the divine.”
That sentence should have read:
“As the Holy Scripture reveals, both men and women are made in the image of God and, therefore, men and women are of equal value in the eyes of God. The United Methodist Church acknowledges the long history of discrimination against women and girls. The United Methodist Church shall confront and seek to eliminate discrimination against women and girls, whether in organizations or in individuals, in every facet of its life and in society at large. The United Methodist Church shall work collaboratively with others to address concerns that threaten women’s and girl’s equality and well-being.”
The proposed Constitutional Amendment I, which would have created a new paragraph in the UMC Book of Discipline focused on gender justice, was approved by 31,304 voters (66.5 percent) and opposed by 15,753 voters at worldwide annual conferences. A two-thirds majority is required for passage.
Delegates to the 2017 South Georgia Annual Conference session voted 842-401 in favor of Amendment I.
South Georgia Conference delegates will revote on Amendment I Tuesday morning, June 5. The vote will be on Amendment I only.
For detailed information about who is eligible to vote, visit www.sgaumc.org/votingrights.