The United Methodist Church maintains marriage is between one man and one woman, yet two North Carolina pastors disregarded the stipulation to perform a ceremony for a gay couple.
One, Bishop Melvin Talbert, did jail time with Martin Luther King, according to The State.
"Discrimination is discrimination, no matter where it is, and it's wrong," Talbert said. "I hope that what we did here yesterday will be an act of evangelism for people ... who are looking for safe places to come because they don't want to be identified with anti-gay (sentiment)."
The church is pastored by Rev. Val Rosenquist, who also performed the ceremony.
"It's just a matter of obeying our covenant with one another throughout the church, that we are to minister to all and to treat all the same. I'm just following what I was ordained to do, what I was baptized to do," Rosenquist said.
Yet their stance is in direct violation of the United Methodist's Book of Discipline.
"The practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching," reads their position. "Therefore self-avowed practicing homosexuals are not to be certified as candidates, ordained as ministers, or appointed to serve in The United Methodist Church."
Furthermore: "We affirm the sanctity of the marriage covenant that is expressed in love, mutual support, personal commitment, and shared fidelity between a man and a woman. We believe that God's blessing rests upon such marriage, whether or not there are children of the union. We reject social norms that assume different standards for women than for men in marriage. We support laws in civil society that define marriage as the union of one man and one woman."
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