Methodist churches push same-sex unions

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A group of five Sacramento-area United Methodist congregations are leading a push to sanction same-sex weddings, in clear defiance of international church rules.
 
The Sacramento Bee reported Friday that some 30 churches in Northern California and other Western states each have adopted a joint "declaration of inclusion." The document puts the denomination on notice that they intend to allow same-sex weddings in their facilities and performed by their clergy.
 
The declaration says "no one will be denied the services of our church because of sexual orientation."
 
The churches say they hope to spur a national movement to change the rule book of the global United Methodist Church, which declares homosexuality incompatible with Christian teaching and bars same-sex unions.
 
Bishop Rosemarie Wenner, president of the United Methodist Council of Bishops, issued a statement acknowledging "diverse opinions" on the issue of same-sex marriage.

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