The United Methodist Church has historically been opposed to discrimination in society including the military. Our anti-discrimination stance is supported primarily through Jesus’ teachings about radical love and the acceptance of those persons living on the margins of society. Throughout Jesus’ life, this radical love was shared when Jesus healed the sick, conversed with women, ate with the rejected and brought hope to the hopeless. We see visibly the call to embrace others and not make judgment: “Do not judge, so that you may not be judged. For with the judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get.” Matthew 7:1-2. Although The United Methodist Church “deplores war and urges the peaceful settlement of all disputes among nations” it “also support and extend the Church’s ministry to those persons who conscientiously choose to serve in the armed forces…” A commitment to the civil rights of people and their ability to follow a “call” to ministry, such as military service, should not be denied.
The United States of America, a nation built on equal rights, presently denies the right of professing homosexuals to actively serve their country forcing men and women who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender to assume a “don’t ask, don’t tell” position when enlisting into military service. This situation is discriminatory, unethical and regrettable; therefore, we affirm the stance that the U.S. military should not exclude persons from service solely on the basis of sexual orientation.