The Judicial Council, the Supreme Court of The United Methodist Church, has ruled that many parts of the Traditional Plan are constitutional and can go into effect. You can read the ruling here: http://www.umc.org/decisions/79922
In addition, the Council ruled that the option for local churches to disaffiliate from The United Methodist Church is constitutional. This option goes into effect immediately. It provides a way for those who simply cannot abide by the decisions of the church to find their own path in ministry. You can read the ruling here: http://www.umc.org/decisions/79923
The following provisions have been ruled constitutional by the Judicial Council and will take effect as of January 1, 2020.
Expands the definition of "self-avowed practicing homosexual" to include persons "living in a same-sex marriage, domestic partnership or civil union, or is a person who publicly states she or he is a practicing homosexual."
Bishops are prohibited from consecrating bishops who are self-avowed homosexuals. Bishops are prohibited from commissioning those on the deacon or elder track if the Board of Ministry has determined the individual is a self-avowed homosexual or has failed to certify it carried out the disciplinarily mandated examination. Bishops are prohibited from ordaining deacons or elders if the Board of Ministry has determined the individual is a self-avowed homosexual or has failed to certify it carried out the disciplinarily mandated examination.
Minimum penalty for clergy convicted of performing a same-sex wedding: suspension without pay for first offense, termination of clergy status for second offense.
The District Committee on Ordained Ministry AND the Conference Board of Ordained Ministry shall not approve or recommend any person for candidacy, licensing, commissioning, or ordination who does not meet the qualifications. Bishop must rule such recommendations out of order.
Bishops may not dismiss a complaint unless it has no basis in law or in fact.
Just resolutions shall state all identified harms and how they shall be addressed by the Church and other parties to the complaint.
No matter where in the process a just resolution is achieved, the complainant(s) shall be a party to the resolution process and every effort shall be made to have the complainant(s) agree to the resolution before it may take effect.
The Church shall have a right of appeal to the committee on appeals and then to the Judicial Council from findings of the trial court based on egregious errors of Church law or administration that could reasonably have affected the findings of the trial court.
Disaffiliation by a local church requires:
Two-thirds vote by the church conference
Payment of the previous 12 months' apportionments and an additional 12 months' apportionments
The church's share of the annual conference's unfunded pension liabilities
Ratification of the disaffiliation request by a majority vote of the annual conference (¶ 2529.1(b)3)
This disaffiliation pathway goes into effect immediately