Bishop Debra Wallace-Padgett issues statement on proposed same-sex union

Press Release from Bishop Debra Wallace-Padgett

A retired United Methodist bishop from another region of the country notified me that in late October he plans to travel to North Alabama to officiate at the celebration of a ceremony of a same-sex couple who were recently married in Washington, D.C.  Though the couple are members of a United Methodist Church in the North Alabama Conference, the celebration will not take place in a United Methodist Church.  I urged the retired bishop to reconsider as his officiating at this ceremony would be in violation of United Methodist Church law.

The General Conference of the United Methodist Church, not a retired bishop, represents the United Methodist Church around this and other social issues.  It is the only body that can set official policy and speak for the denomination. The General Conference of the United Methodist Church meets every four years.  The most recent General Conference took place in 2012 and consisted of nearly 1,000 delegates from around the world.

Our 2012 Book of Discipline affirms that all persons are of sacred worth and that God’s grace is available to all. Every person is welcome in our churches.  It also states that we consider the practice of homosexuality as incompatible with Christian teaching. Our ministers are not permitted to conduct ceremonies that celebrate homosexual unions or perform same sex wedding ceremonies.  For a bishop or any ordained or licensed minister to disregard a law of the church creates a breach of the covenant they made at their consecration, ordination or licensing.

As a Bishop of the United Methodist Church, I am committed to abide by and uphold the Book of Discipline (church law) of the United Methodist Church.

Bishop Debra Wallace-Padgett
North Alabama Conference


  1. Robert Hill says

    If Bishop Melvin Wallace determines that he will perform the wedding, what will the consequences be for him? If there are no consequences, how will there be any controls for future items that are in violation of the BOD? I have great concerns about is happening in the United Methodist Church by our leadership.
    Robert Hill
    Newport News, Va

  2. David Bryan says

    I commend Bishop Debra Wallace-Padgett for her stance and for her being vocal. Psalm 15 is clear in upholding Bishop Debra Wallace-Padgett’s point of view. Thank you for your clear thinking and making your voice heard, especially as a Bishop.

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