After years of debating gay rights, the United Methodist Church is probably headed for a big split. Months after global Methodist leaders voted against LGBTQ rights this year, five bishops representing the Western Jurisdiction of the United Methodist Church released a statement Nov. 6 in support of LGBTQ clergy. Church leaders are debating whether to fracture into two organizations – one liberal and one conservative – before the denomination’s next annual gathering in 2020. “Unity is a high priority for many of us, and we watched it fall apart in front of our very eyes,” said the Rev. Erin Martin, the Columbia District superintendent who oversees more than 40 Methodist clergy in the Portland, Oregon, metro area, of the vote against LGBTQ rights in February.