Illinois Bishop Sally Dyck spoke out today in support of marriage equality, just as her state is expected to address a bill on the issue. In a statement to clergy and members of the United Methodist Church (UMC) Northern Illinois Conference, Bishop Dyck asserted, "I believe in the institution of marriage as the source of emotional and legal stability and security for families and communities...Therefore, I believe it is to the benefit of our families, communities and the state of Illinois for the Marriage Equality Bill to become law in our state."
Bishop Dyck's statement comes at a time when the UMC does not officially support marriage equality as a denomination, though the Church did consider the issue in 2012. Despite this official position of the UMC, several individual Methodist leaders and congregations have come out in support of the LGBT communtiy. In her own show of support, Bishop Dyck discussed her experience and beliefs about marriage, saying, "Because I believe in marriage, it’s my belief it will be a benefit for this law to pass."
Last month, over 260 LGBT-affirming clergy in Illinois signed a letter urging legislators to pass marriage equality in the state.