A United Methodist Church in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, has gone rogue on the issue of same-sex marriage – telling the state and the United Methodist Church leadership that it will not perform marriages until its pastors are allowed to marry all couples.
Winston-Salem’s Green Street United Methodist Church (UMC) issued a statement yesterday in which the church’s leadership council confirmed their support of same-sex marriage and that the council had asked their ministers to join other dissenting clergy in the US who were refusing to sign marriage licenses until same-sex couples could legally wed.
‘On the matter of same-sex marriage, Green Street UMC sees injustice in the legal position of state government and the theological position of our denomination,’ a statement on behalf of the leadership council read.
‘North Carolina prohibits same-sex marriage and all the rights and privileges marriage brings. The Leadership Council has asked that their ministers join others who refuse to sign any State marriage licenses until this right is granted to same- sex couples.’
‘Because the United Methodist Church prohibits its pastors from conducting same- sex weddings, excluding gay and lesbian couples from the holy sacrament of marriage, the Leadership Council has asked the pastor to refrain from conducting wedding ceremonies in our sanctuary for straight couples, until the denomination lifts its ban for same-sex couples.’
Green Street United Methodist Church is part of the LGBT friendly Reconciling Ministries network within the United Methodist Church and the only Reconciling Congregation in the Western North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church.
The church will be holding a public press conference later today.
North Carolina passed a constitutional ban on any legal form recognition of same-sex couples in May last year with just over sixty percent of voters backing the ban.