A United Methodist pastor is now facing charges for refusing to marry a gay couple. According to the UMC, pastors may not officiate weddings in church sanctuaries but does permit pastors to conduct blessings of relationships which do not include vows, rings or a pronouncement of marriage.
Rev. Kelly Carpenter offered to provide this service for Kenneth Barner and Scott Chappell, but the couple refused. They requested that Carpenter perform a marriage ceremony off church property, to which Carpenter declined, understanding that the church’s Book of Discipline prohibited it.
Barner and Chappel have now turned in an official complaint against Carpenter for “failure to person the work of ministry” and “gender discrimination,” both offenses also violate the church’s Book of Discipline.
Christian Today reports that Carpenter is in support of UMC clergy marrying gay couples but refused to officiate the ceremony to start a discussion in the church.
The pastor said, "This may get me in some trouble, but it may be the kind of trouble I've been looking for."
Publication date: November 14, 2014