One of the nation’s largest Protestant denominations may be splitting apart over same-sex marriages.
The United Methodist Church announced Friday the ultimatum to solve disagreements over the gay marriage issue pending a vote of approval at the church’s general conference in May. The traditionalist Methodist faction that opposes same-sex marriage will break from the United Methodist Church and renounce all claims to assets, including church buildings. In exchange, they will receive $25 million to start a new denomination. Local churches will be required to vote in order to leave, but no vote is needed if they want to stay.
The announcement comes on the day the church was scheduled to begin sanctioning pastors who perform same-sex marriages. That has been postponed.