On June 9, 2014, the Rev. Scott Field requested a decision of law regarding Document 700.08, “In Support of Marriage Equality” which was approved at Annual Conference. On June 10, 2014, Bishop Dyck received Rev. Field’s written and signed request which reads as follows:

First, in light of Judicial Council Decision #886 as well as other relevant Judicial Council decisions and
the document before us (Doc. 700.08 “In Support of Marriage Equality”), are Annual Conferences and
their churches generally and the Northern Illinois Annual Conference and its local churches particularly
permitted to disobey disciplinary provisions that prohibit United Methodist clergy from conducting
ceremonies which celebrate homosexual unions or performing same-sex wedding ceremonies (par.
2702.1), that refuse candidacy, ordination, and appointment to self-avowed practicing homosexuals
(par. 304.3), and that restrict our church buildings from being used to host ceremonies which
celebrate homosexual unions or same-sex wedding ceremonies?”;

Second, if, by your ruling, Annual Conferences and their churches generally and the Northern Illinois
Annual Conference and its local churches particularly are permitted to disobey these provisions of the
discipline, to what extent is an Annual Conference and its churches permitted to disobey other
provisions of the Discipline?

Bishop Dyck writes: “Doc. 700.08 has four sections with areas of concern but overall, it is an aspirational statement and non-binding or specifically prescriptive. It doesn’t cite any specific Disciplinary statement in relation to any specific action. It’s an historical and aspirational statement without prescriptive force which does not specifically negate, ignore or violate provisions of the Discipline (Judicial Council Decision 1218 and Judicial Council Decisions 1021, 1044, 1111, 1120, and 1185).”

Read the ruling in its entirety:  Bishop ruling 700.08

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