CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Members of North Carolina’s United Methodist Church have urged their national body to become more welcoming and affirming of LGBT people, according to a report from Durham’s Herald-Sun.

Meeting in Greenville, N.C., last week, members of the North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church passed a resolution supporting LGBT-inclusive changes to the national church’s stance on homosexuality.

“We implore the General Conference to change the languageĀ used in The Social Principles, and to affirm the place of LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) members within the church, lest they risk losing not only those members but any and all members with family or friends who are LGBT,” the resolution reads.

State Methodists say that the church’s continued exclusion of LGBT people has had a negative effect on church membership and growth. A survey by The Barna Group, the state church members said, found that “antihomosexual” was the first word used to describe Christianity by 91 percent of non-Christians and 80 percent of young Christians. They also say 59 percent of young Christians have left the church because of its perceived exclusion of their LGBT peers.

Read the full report from The Herald-Sun.

Click here to see the resolution (Resolution 3, page 4).

Matt Comer previously served as editor from October 2007 through August 2015 and as a staff writer afterward in 2016.