Northaven United Methodist Church is showing its support of same-sex marriage and gay clergy by covering “United Methodist” on its Preston Road sign with a rainbow Pride flag.

A photo of the sign posted on Facebook by the church had the following caption: “A church that legislates exclusion and homophobia is a church that has left us.”

The show of support comes days after the global United Methodist Church voted to continue its opposition to same-sex marriages and gay clergy members. A group of more than 800 clergy and lay leaders voted Feb. 26 to affirm the church’s traditional view of sexuality, the Washington Post reported.

The vote also allows for more harsh punishments for clergy who disobey the rules.

Members of Northaven United Methodist wore rainbow stoles to Sunday service in protest of the vote. The congregation voted two years ago to allow same-sex weddings to be performed at the church, the Dallas Voice reported.

The option to continue with the traditional view of sexuality passed with 53 percent of delegates voting in favor. Other options considered by the church would have allowed local churches to chose their stance on sexuality or possibly would have split the church into two denominations, the Washington Post reported.

Northaven’s congregation could decide to leave the church, but it would require a long separation process, Rev. Marti Soper told the Dallas Voice. Logistical issues such as Soper’s salary and pension, and the mortgage on the building being paid by the denomination make leaving harder.

Right now, Northaven is exploring options to protect itself while remaining part of the church, Soper told the Dallas Voice.

Another church in the area, Grace United Methodist Church in East Dallas, is also protesting the vote. The church shared a picture of its sign with “United Methodist” covered in a rainbow Pride flag as well.


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