A Circuitous Strategem
The Baltimore-Washington Annual Conference is not traditionalist as a whole so its Board of Ordained Ministries faced a dilemma. It didn’t want to make a big deal of any candidate’s sexual orientation and so it placed all of its candidates before the Clergy Session as classes rather than as individuals and it worked. All were accepted by vote according to the category they were in.
A traditionalist was unhappy since the purpose of the latest changes in the Discipline was to cull out any LGBTQI candidates. So the next day he raised a question of law about whether handling the candidates’ vote that way was Disciplinary. He was well aware that two of the candidates had been subject to a previous Council decision (JCD 1368 is cited but there are two of them with that number. This case refers to the JCD 1368 of Feb., 2019).
The bishop ruled no part of the Discipline prevents lumping candidates together in a vote, the vote to use that process had its own level of requirement (did not have to be ¾) for passage, and that the final vote on the candidates made moot any question about their membership. The bishop made clear that parliamentarily, motions to separate out votes on any of the candidates did not occur and had they been supported, those individuals would have each been so dealt with.
It is not so much that this clever strategy caught everyone by surprise, it’s that it was legal (so says the Council). It probably will only work once in any annual conference.
Now you know why you have to understand Robert’s Rules of Order as a member if the annual conference.