NC Church Refuses to Perform Straight Weddings

Until same-sex marriage is legal

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 19, 2013 11:19 AM CDT | Updated Mar 23, 2013 7:00 PM CDT

(Newser) – If gay people aren't allowed to get married, then no one's getting married. That's the position the Green Street United Methodist Church is taking. The church in Winston-Salem, NC, will refuse to conduct any weddings or sign any marriage licenses, straight or otherwise, until same-sex marriage is legal and condoned by the United Methodist Church, its leadership council announced, saying it "sees injustice in the legal position of the state government and the theological position of our denomination."

The church currently has more than 15 gay and lesbian members. "Many people in our church have been very active about marriage equality," Rev. Kelly Carpenter tells Fox News. "Inside the congregation, I've heard nothing but support." In place of marriages, the church will hold "relationship blessings," which can be performed on same-sex and opposite-sex couples alike, WXII 12 reports. While Methodist churches in Chicago and California have taken similar steps, Carpenter believes his is the first Southern church to do so.

Parishioners are seen on the steps of the Green Street United Methodist Church in this photo from its website.   (Green Street United Methodist Church)
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