The Northeastern Jurisdiction also affirmed its commitment to the rights of all persons at its 2012 meeting. In a resolution, the jurisdiction stated, "Clergy, lay persons and congregations may feel bound by conscience to offer the ministries and sacraments of the church to all persons on an equal basis and that even though bound to the Book of Discipline, we are also bound by Jesus' commandment to stand with the marginalized and the oppressed in our midst."
The resolution was approved by 61 percent.
A statement by the Northeastern Jurisdiction Evangelical Connection of United Methodists expressed disappointment in the vote.
"This statement stands in opposition to the doctrine and discipline of The United Methodist Church. A jurisdictional conference does not have the authority to speak in a manner contrary to the General Conference of the denomination. Therefore, we do not believe this statement can be implemented or enforced in any way," the statement said.
The group also pointed out that the position of The United Methodist Church on human sexuality has not changed.
The Northeastern Jurisdiction includes the states of Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and West Virginia, and the District of Columbia.