5 Reactions to the United Methodist Church's Ruling Against Lesbian Bishop

3. The Western Jurisdiction
UMC General Conference
Delegates pray before a plenary session at the United Methodist Church's 2016 General Conference in Portland, Oregon. |

The United Methodist Church's Western Jurisdiction College of Bishops, for which Oliveto was elected to join, released a statement Friday regarding the decision.

Bishop Elaine JW Stanovsky, spokesperson for the Jurisdiction, described the ruling as "long and complicated," noting that it showed that "the Church is not of one mind about inclusion of LGBT people and sexual practices outside heterosexual marriage."

"The decision refuted the claim that bishops have the right and responsibility to declare a candidate for election as a bishop ineligible without due process," stated Stanovsky.

"On the other hand, the Judicial Council expanded the definition of 'self-avowed practicing homosexual,' making it clear that the Church is still not open to full LGBT inclusion."

Stanovsky went on to note that the regional body "will have more to say about this ruling as the Western Jurisdiction College of Bishops gathers this week during the Council of Bishops meeting."

As of Monday morning, the official Facebook page for the UMC Western Jurisdiction includes a prominently-displayed photo of Oliveto following her unanimous election last year.

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