US: Complaint filed against 36 ministers for blessing same-sex wedding

The 36 ministers will be subject to disciplinary procedure Share on WhatsApp 4 reader comments

Three dozen United Methodist Ministers are the subject of a complaint, and are subject to disciplinary action, for blessing a same-sex wedding.

The wedding, which took place in Philadelphia on 9 November, was blessed by the 36 ministers. They blessed the ceremony in order to show support for Reverend Frank Schaefer who was defrocked following a church trial.

Schaefer was reinstated last month.

Bishop Peggy Johnson of the United Methodist church’s eastern Pennsylvania conference released a statement saying that she would follow the disciplinary procedure.

She said she hoped that “a just resolution can be achieved,” but did not release details of who filed the complaint, or any details.

Despite that the United Methodist Church accepts gay and lesbian members into its congregations, its rule book deems homosexuality

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US: Kentucky Baptist church to host same-sex wedding

Highland Baptist Church will host a same-sex wedding Share on WhatsApp 0 reader comments

A Kentucky Baptist church has made plans to host its first same-sex wedding, despite the state’s same-sex marriage ban.

The Highland Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky, has announced that same-sex couple David Bannister Jr and Steven Carr, 29 and 25, will marry in the church next May.

The Southern Baptist Convention – the largest Baptist convention in the US – is militantly opposed to same-sex marriage ceremonies, but Highland broke away from the group nearly 20 years ago.

Kentucky’s same-sex marriage ban was struck down this week, but a stay was granted, putting it back in place pending appeal.

It is possible that the case will have resolved by the May 2015 date for the wedding, but if not, the marriage could be unrecognised.

Sam Marcosson, a law professor at the University of Louisville, said the move “may influence the debate” on the issue.

Pastor Joe Phelps (no relation) said: “It takes courage to step out into the unknown. It’s taking us courage to be one of the first churches to do this.

“There are a very small number in the church who are upset, and to their credit, they have stayed with the church through all of this.”

He added that when he arrived at the church in 1997, it operated a ‘don’t ask don’t tell’ policy regarding homosexuality.

He said: “Inch by inch, it sort of begins to dawn on us. Over time, we’ve come to the realization that led us to today.”

The church appointed its first gay minister, Reverend Maurice “Bojangles” Blanchard, in 2012.

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US: Wisconsin Governor fought for marriage ban while his son served as witness at gay wedding

Governor Scott Walker backed efforts to reinstate the ban, while his son witnessed a gay wedding Share on WhatsApp 2 reader comments

The son of the Governor of Wisconsin served as a witness at a family same-sex wedding last month, despite his father supporting efforts to put a same-sex marriage ban back in place.

US District Judge Barbara Crabb struck down the state’s same-sex marriage ban last month, and did not stay her own ruling, allowing weddings to begin.

However, after Republican Attorney General  J B Van Hollen launched an an appeal – backed by Governor Scott Walker – the judge called a halt to the marriages, less than a week after they had begun.

It has since emerged that Walker’s own son served at a witness at a gay family wedding in the brief period that same-sex marriages were available, despite his father backing efforts to ban them.

According to local TV network WKOW, the governor’s office has confirmed that Alex Walker served as a witness on June 9 in Waukesha County.

Spokesperson Laurel Patrick confirmed that Walker served as a witness for a family member on his mother’s side, “whom the first lady and her family dearly love”.

On June 13, Governor Walker claimed it “doesn’t matter” what he thought of same-sex marriage, because the ban was in the state’s constitution.

Walker has since refused to clarify whether he still supports a ban on same-sex marriage, while the appeal heads for a Federal Appeals Court.

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US: School forced to cancel Spamalot over gay wedding because ‘homosexuality doesn’t exist here’

High school cancels planned musical performance due to same-sex content Share on WhatsApp 11 reader comments

A school in northern Pennsylvania has been forced to cancel plans to stage Spamalot next spring, because it contains a same-sex marriage.

Dawn Burch, theatre director at South Williamsport High School, told WNEP news that Principal Jesse Smith informed her in an e-mail that the content of the musical was inappropriate, and that homosexuality did not exist in a conservative community like South Williamsport.

Students commented that they know of openly gay students and community members in South Williamsport. Neighbouring Williamsport school district has a gay-straight alliance and same-sex marriage has been legal in Pennsylvania since May.

The marriage in Monty Python’s Spamalot takes place at the end of the production, when Lancelot is outed in a large disco number after rescuing an effeminate prince.

Superintendent Mark Stamm responded to ThinkProgress’ inquiry into the issue with a statement,

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