According to the Dallas Morning News:
FORT WORTH – About 300 people took the floor of the United Methodist Church's General Conference Thursday morning, protesting the denomination's persistence in saying the practice of homosexuality is "incompatible" with Christian teaching.
Legislative action at the Fort Worth Convention Center was stopped for 15 minutes to allow the demonstration, which included singing of the spiritual "Were You There (When They Crucified My Lord)?"
The action went peacefully. At the General Conference eight years ago in Cleveland, about 200 gay-rights supporters were arrested.
Still, progressives were clearly disappointed that efforts to change the church's stance on homosexuality failed Wednesday in voting by General Conference delegates.
"It was a terrible day," said the Rev. Eric Folkerth, pastor of Northaven United Methodist Church in Dallas.
The General Conference is the UMC's quadrennial assembly for deciding church law and policy. It's scheduled to wrap up today.
Most UMC churches either quietly or openly welcome gay people as members, and Northaven is part of a network of congregations that's lobbying on related issues, such as allowing non-celibate gay clergy.
But the UMC's fundamental position that the practice of homosexuality conflicts with Christian teaching has stuck, despite strenuous efforts to remove it at one General Conference after another.
Mr. Folkerth said, "American Methodists are ready for change." But he and others said change was thwarted this time by international delegates, particularly delegates from Africa, whose numbers and influence have grown because the denomination is growing there.
Dogo Jean Yoou, a lay delegate from Ivory Coast, agreed that the African delegates oppose relaxing the UMC's stands on homosexuality.
"We are still very conservative on this issue," he said.
Faye Short of Cornelia, Ga., said she and many other United Methodists from the U.S. also support keeping the church's position that the practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching.
"If that ever changes, it's probably the death knell for the church," said Ms. Short, president of Renewal Network, a group of conservative evangelical UMC women. "I don't think it would hold together."
Hundreds protest Methodist church's stance on homosexuality at Fort Worth conference