A North Carolina church has vowed not to perform any more marriages until United Methodist pastors are allowed to officiate homosexual weddings.
The Green Street United Methodist Church in Winston-Salem made the announcement on its Facebook page on Friday and held a press conference Sunday, Fox News reports.
"Many people in our church have been very active about marriage equality in North Carolina, so we're not new to talking about this issue," the Rev. Kelly Carpenter, the church's pastor, told FoxNews.com on Monday. "So over the past year, this statement has developed, and not only to the state of North Carolina, but also to the United Methodist Church in regards to the injustice of not being able to conduct same-sex weddings."
Neither the state nor the church sanctions gay marriages, but with the Supreme Court set to consider two key same-sex marriage issues later this month, Mr. Carpenter said the announcement's timing "seemed to be good."
Church officials declared on the website that committed same-sex relationships are "no less sacred" than heterosexual ones.
"Couples making a commitment to one another need a supportive community of faith to sustain and uphold them so as to grow in faith and love," the statement read. "Weddings are the occasion for covenant making, a time to seek God's blessing on their commitment to one another. … At Green Street Church, we claim the committed same-sex relationships as no less sacred in their ministry to us and the community."
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