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    Big Data: 54 people decided the United Methodist Church vote

    Ed Rowe, left, Rebecca Wilson, Robin Hager and Jill Zundel, react to the defeat of a proposal that would allow LGBT clergy and same-sex marriage within the United Methodist Church at the denomination’s 2019 Special Session of the General Conference in St. Louis, Mo., Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019. America’s second-largest Protestant denomination faces a likely fracture as delegates at the crucial meeting move to strengthen bans on same-sex marriage and ordination of LGBT clergy. (AP Photo/)
    Sid Hastings/AP
    With more than 12 million members worldwide, and over 6 million members in the United States, UMC is the second-largest Protestant denomination in the country.

    54

    That’s the number of delegates who decided the United Methodist Church’s vote on whether to maintain the current rules against same-sex marriage and openly LGBTQ clergy. More than 800 church delegates from around the world voted on the measure, called the Traditional Plan, while at the group’s general conference in St. Louis Tuesday. The vote’s final tally was 438 to 384. With more than 12 million members worldwide, and over 6 million members in the United States, UMC is the second-largest Protestant denomination in the country. In 2016, 111 clergy members came out of the closet in an open letter to the church.

    aimee.ortiz@globe.com@aimee_ortiz