Church leaders marry gay couple in North Carolina as act of rebellion

♦ United Methodist Church prepare to debate same-sex marriage
♦ North Carolina UMC leaders rail against discriminatory policy


Bishop Melvin Talbert

A pastor and a bishop held a secret wedding for a gay couple in North Carolina over the weekend as an act of “civil disobedience.”

Pastor Val Rosenquist and Bishop Melvin Talbert officiated the marriage of long-time parishioner Jim Wilborne and his partner John Romano in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Pr Rosenquist and Bp Talbert consented to marry the couple, despite the risk of being removed from the United Methodist Church (UMC). The ceremony was kept secret by the group to prevent protesters having a chance to organise.

Bp Talbert has advocated for social equality for many decades, having been arrested for standing with Martin Luther King Jr in 1960, and previously offering to organise another same-sex wedding in Alabama.

Ahead of a planned UMC debate on whether or not to repeal the church’s blanket ban on executing same-sex marriages, Bp Talbert told Buzzfeed News that his church’s current policy is “immoral, unjust, and oppressive, and they no longer deserve our loyalty and support.”

“I have to make a choice between my church and God, and I am choosing God,” Bp Talbert said.

“Discrimination is discrimination no matter where it is. It was race discrimination then, and it is discrimination based on sexual orientation now. It’s time to make a stand. I am willing to face whatever consequences I encounter.

“I am totally at peace with this decision.”

The defiant wedding also comes as a number of celebrities rail against North Carolina’s discriminatory HB2 law.

Watch footage of the special ceremony below.

OIP Staff



Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

You must be logged in to post a comment Login