Ms. Fletcher,

I read your opinion piece and felt a need to respond. I understand there may be  limitations of space and time to include pertinent information to your reading public. However, some information should be provided for the reader to understand the depth of the issue in question.
The United Methodist denomination is a global religion with approximately 12 million followers. This includes approximately 4.4 million throughout Africa, Asia, and Europe. It is important to understand the growth of Methodism in Africa in particular and the laws under which these individuals live that affect their voting during the conference.
There are 54 "states", (countries) on the African continent of which 34 states specifically "outlaw" any recognition of nonconforming or homosexual activity. In five of these states the punishment by law is the death sentence, three states punish with life imprisonment, and most others punish with up to 10 years in prison. These punishments are not only dealt to the LGBTQ+ individual, but to anyone who "witnesses, abets, or provides aid of any kind" to that individual.
These laws are only the governments position and the individuals must also deal with the community attitude toward such activity.
The UMC representatives decisions and votes were no doubt affected by the laws and society from which they came.
I do not assume to know the answer. I am but a lay person and member of the UMC who finds solace in my Christian faith. I will assume each "organised" religion has it's difficulty in administration of the entity. Hopefully, the individual continues to know it is one's individual faith in doing what is right in treatment of each person who walks this earth.
Thank you for your time.
Oren Pomeroy

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