Ruling of Law

Once a question of law has been formally submitted in writing to the annual conference secretary during annual conference, the bishop, as the interpreter of the Book of Discipline, has up to 30 days to research and determine if the resolution in question is in conflict with the Discipline of The United Methodist Church. A question of law is not a request for a bishop's opinion on a resolution. All bishops' rulings on questions of law are submitted to the United Methodist Judicial Council for review. Click here to access the full text of the Bishop's Report To The Judicial Council of The United Methodist Church.

Question of Law on the Marriage Equality Resolution

"I rise to seek a decision or ruling of law on the Marriage Equality Resolution. My question is, does this resolution comply with the requirements of our covenant, the Book of Discipline and the decision of our Judicial Council? The basis of my question is Decision 1220 made on October 27, 2012 by our Judicial Council."

Summary of Bishop's Ruling of Law on the Marriage Equality Resolution

The Resolution invites the members of the annual conference to participate in the ministry of the annual conference, and makes a case that this participation will strengthen the ministry of the annual conference.  The Resolution upholds the right of an annual conference to make public statements that announce its support of, or opposition to, a proposition or idea and thereby publicly declare a point of view; and the Resolution calls upon each person in covenant with one another as disciples of Jesus Christ, to offer support through spiritual care, emotional nurture, and prayer, as that person undergoes the process of facing formal complaints or charges in the church's response to formal complaints for such actions.  The Resolution does not legally negate, ignore, or violate the Discipline and is in concert with the provisions of Judicial Council Decision 1220.  The Resolution is not out of order.

For the full text of Bishop Hoshibata's Ruling, please click here.