GC 2012: Plenary Hall Closed to All Observers - Demonstrators Intend Arrest

May 03, 2012

TAMPA, FL (11:20 a.m. EDT)The plenary of General Conference 2012 will be closed to observers "of all kinds" following the lunch break, Bishop Mike Coyner of Indiana has ruled. He made the announcement after throngs protesting the failure of the Human Sexuality petition did not comply with his request that they leave the bar of the conference after the morning break, so that business could resume.

The bishop said the ban (presumably to include the press) is for reasons of security, and expressed a hope that it need not be "for long."
However, we have learned that it is the intent of the demonstrators to stay and force arrest, when the plenary reconvenes. Since the status of the press is uncertain at this time (marshalls and pages have not received specific instructions), it also is unclear whether the live stream (gc2012.umc.org/live) will be available at that time.