Southern Methodist University Sued Over Attempt to Cut Ties With United Methodist Church

Southern Methodist University campus

Southern Methodist University is being sued over a recent move to sever control of the school from the United Methodist Church.

The move is part of the latest fallout from the denomination’s long-running battles over sexuality.

Earlier this year, its global decision-making body strengthened its ban on the ordination and marriage of its LGBTQ members.

Afterward, SMU President R. Gerald Turner issued a statement saying the school appreciated its Methodist roots but that its day-to-day operations were not under church control.

And more recently, the Dallas-based university changed its articles of incorporation to “make it clear that SMU is solely maintained and controlled by its board of trustees as the ultimate authority for the university,” according to a written statement the university provided to Religion News Service.

The school delated a phrase saying the school was “forever owned, maintained and controlled by the South Central Jurisdictional Conference of The United Methodist Church,” according to a report by the United Methodist News Service.

The regional conference responded earlier this week with a Dallas County civil lawsuit. The suit describes the school as “the founder, owner, controller and manager of SMU,” according UMNS.

SMU was notified of the suit late Wednesday (Dec. 4), according to the statement from the school.

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Source: Religion News Service