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Unitarian pastor protests NC's stance on gay marriage

An Asheville pastor won’t perform any civil marriage ceremonies until NC allows same-sex marriage. (Citizen-Times):

The Rev. Mark Ward, pastor of the 540-member Unitarian Universalist Church in Asheville, announced his decision in a sermon Sunday. Ward said he still will perform religious ceremonies for heterosexual couples but will direct them to public officials for civil ceremonies and marriage licenses.

“As ministers, we are sort of de facto agents of the state in that we have the ability to legalize marriage of couples we deal with,” he said. “I will choose not to perform that function as long as the state’s laws are unjust.”

Ward said he already has been performing what are essentially marriages for same-sex couples.

“I accept the responsibility and believe that it is a good thing for people in a committed relationship to come together and join in an intentional joining of their lives,” he said. “I think it’s a good thing religiously. I think it’s a good thing civilly. I think we as a society benefit by having people who are in committed relationships. I think it’s a more stable society.”

Ward is the second pastor to take this stand. Rev. Joe Hoffman last month announced that he would no longer perform civil marriage ceremonies to his congregation.

I wonder what the unhinged bible beaters who staged that anti-gay “gospel rally” in Asheville the other weekend feel about this (see my post, Fundamentalist hatefest held in Asheville).

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding