Group pushing United Methodist Church to fully include LGBTQ community

PRAIRIE VILLAGE, Kan. -- Dozens of people from around the metro area want the United Methodist Church to fully include gay people in their congregations.

Former Kansas City, Kan., Mayor Mark Holland is leading the global campaign for change.

With the elections of Sharice Davids in Kansas, a gay state representative from Lenexa, Kan., and a gay governor elected in Colorado, some say the church needs to recognize that people are more accepting of differences.

The United Methodist Church currently does not allow the ordination or marriage of folks who are lesbians, gay, bi-sexual, transgender or queer.

Those organizing at this church hope to change that when United Methodists meet at a special session in St. Louis in February.

"I think it shows the secular community has moved on from this issue a while back," said Holland, who is also a United Methodist pastor. "The voting rights act in America passed before the United Methodist Church desegregated.  Women received the vote in 1920, but we didn’t ordain women until 1956. The church has been behind on a lot of social issues with the larger community. I think this is one where a lot of people say the church is still behind and needs to catch up."

Holland says Presbyterians, Episcopalians and Lutherans all have full inclusion for gays and lesbians.

Methodists are the largest denomination that ordains women but not those of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities.

The group is pushing a "One Church" plan, where conservative congregations can remain conservative, and progressive communities can become more inclusive.