Despite a full communion agreement between the United Methodist Council (UMC) and Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), gay clergy are not welcome in the UMC.

Earlier in the month, the Lutheran church voted in favor of a communion pact with the UMC that includes the sharing of clergy the day before it dropped its ban on partnered gay and lesbian clergy.

On Wednesday, Methodist officials said the pact does not supersede its own ban on gay clergy.

“Our Book of Discipline on that subject did not become null and void when they took that vote,” Bishop Gregory Palmer, president of the United Methodist Council of Bishops, said in a statement. “It still applies to United Methodist clergy.”

Lutherans agreed, saying the communion pact was not a merger.

“[If clergy in] same-gendered, long-term relationships in the ELCA … want to serve in a United Methodist Church, The United Methodist Church can say we are sorry but that does not fit our protocols,” Michael Trice, associate executive for Ecumenical and Inter-Religious Relations of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, said.

“Union does not require uniformity in all cases,” he added. “It requires faithfulness to the Gospel, honesty with our Christian partners, and wherever we can share a sense of mission and service in the world.”

In 2008, Methodist leaders upheld the church's decades-old ban on gay clergy in a resolution that said being gay was “incompatible with Christian teaching” and that “self-avowed practicing homosexuals are not to be certified as candidates, ordained as ministers or appointed to serve in The United Methodist Church.”