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Confirmation students won't join church, citing LGBTQ rules

Eight middle-school confirmation class members have decided against joining an Omaha Methodist church in protest at the denomination's renewed ban on same-sex marriage and gay clergy.

The Omaha World-Herald reports that the eight were scheduled to become part of the congregation Sunday at First United Methodist Church. But the seventh- and eighth-graders declined and issued a written statement instead.

It says that if they were to join now, that would send the inaccurate message that they approve of the United Methodist Church's "immoral" policies on LGBTQ clergy and same-sex marriage.

On Friday, the denomination's judicial council upheld key portions of a plan adopted in February by the church's legislative assembly and designed to strengthen the bans on same-sex marriage and ordination of LGBTQ pastors.