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Alabama

Methodist bishop performs gay wedding in Ala. despite church opposition

Saturday, October 26, 2013

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — A retired United Methodist bishop performed a wedding for two gay men Saturday in Alabama despite opposition from other church leaders.

Joe Openshaw (right) and Bobby Prince

Joe Openshaw (right) and Bobby Prince

The ceremony took place at the Covenant Community Church, a United Church of Christ congregation. Bishop Melvin G. Talbert of Nashville, Tenn., performed the wedding even though the local bishop and other leaders said it violated church law.

Joe Openshaw said he and longtime partner Bobby Prince asked Talbert to marry them when they were refused permission to marry in their United Methodist church.

“Everything went just as planned. There were no disruptions, no drama,” said Joe Openshaw. “Bobby and I now feel our relationship is complete.”

Talbert and other Methodist supporters of same-sex rights have been encouraging their denomination to recognize gay marriages for years. Alabama does not recognize same-sex marriage.

The men wed legally in Washington, D.C., last month. Prince said he and his partner wanted a religious ceremony as well.

“It seemed like it was incomplete without our families and friends being there in the church,” Prince said.

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42 more reader comments:

  1. Good for him

    Posted on Sunday, October 27, 2013 at 12:24am
  2. hero

    Posted on Sunday, October 27, 2013 at 12:25am
  3. Nice!

    Posted on Sunday, October 27, 2013 at 12:25am
  4. Good for him and respect of equality and love

    Posted on Sunday, October 27, 2013 at 12:31am
  5. http://IncomeOverNet.com/index.php?share=155

    Replied on Sunday, October 27, 2013 at 12:38am
  6. *standing ovation*

    Posted on Sunday, October 27, 2013 at 12:34am
  7. Hopefully they will get Federal recognition someday for benefits.

    Posted on Sunday, October 27, 2013 at 12:36am
  8. Posted on Sunday, October 27, 2013 at 12:38am
  9. Sometimes “like” doesn’t say it. ” Wonderful”and “God bless” seem to fit better.

    Posted on Sunday, October 27, 2013 at 12:41am
  10. Pray that the Methodists get moving!!

    Posted on Sunday, October 27, 2013 at 12:45am
  11. Yay finally some good news out of Alabama!

    Posted on Sunday, October 27, 2013 at 12:51am
  12. Amen. Bless the mimister & couple.

    Posted on Sunday, October 27, 2013 at 12:51am
  13. *minister

    Replied on Sunday, October 27, 2013 at 12:51am
  14. amen

    Posted on Sunday, October 27, 2013 at 12:56am
  15. It’s nice to know that at least one religious leader has this right. :)

    Posted on Sunday, October 27, 2013 at 1:12am
  16. good going Bishop

    Posted on Sunday, October 27, 2013 at 1:12am
  17. thank you..a decent Christian comes forward

    Posted on Sunday, October 27, 2013 at 1:22am
  18. He is scheduled for “church court” for his crime too

    Posted on Sunday, October 27, 2013 at 1:39am
  19. What “crime” ^^

    Posted on Sunday, October 27, 2013 at 1:53am
  20. Awesome! No crime, just reality…2013….really? Ignorance is in true form

    Posted on Sunday, October 27, 2013 at 1:59am
  21. they look so cute together <:3

    Posted on Sunday, October 27, 2013 at 2:47am
  22. YES!

    Posted on Sunday, October 27, 2013 at 2:56am
  23. Congrats and god bless!

    Posted on Sunday, October 27, 2013 at 2:58am
  24. I am a sweetie little fag boy waiting country to be sobed

    Posted on Sunday, October 27, 2013 at 3:00am
  25. Congratulations handsome guys <3

    Posted on Sunday, October 27, 2013 at 6:18am
  26. WOOOOO! :D

    Posted on Sunday, October 27, 2013 at 7:55am
  27. its time the hate stops

    Posted on Sunday, October 27, 2013 at 10:17am
  28. Respect, that is awesome!

    Posted on Sunday, October 27, 2013 at 10:40am
  29. WOOT WOOT!!!

    Posted on Sunday, October 27, 2013 at 12:46pm
  30. :)

    Posted on Sunday, October 27, 2013 at 2:26pm
  31. BRAVO…

    Posted on Sunday, October 27, 2013 at 2:30pm
  32. good fpr him

    Posted on Sunday, October 27, 2013 at 3:31pm
  33. you don’t need a church nor a member of any clergy to get married……..the legalization of gay marriage is a legal matter- not a religious one

    Posted on Sunday, October 27, 2013 at 5:34pm
  34. He is a civil rights hero.

    Posted on Sunday, October 27, 2013 at 5:35pm
  35. CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!! to both the happy couple and the Bishop!

    Posted on Sunday, October 27, 2013 at 7:19pm
  36. Yes! Enough of this “I don’t agree with it, but this is the way it is” nonsense. It takes individuals with functioning brains to do things like this that bring on change. If I weren’t an atheist, I would be proud to be led by this bishop.

    Posted on Sunday, October 27, 2013 at 7:48pm
  37. God Bless you!

    Posted on Sunday, October 27, 2013 at 9:15pm
  38. The world needs more church leaders like this one!

    Posted on Monday, October 28, 2013 at 7:17am
  39. So proud to be from Bama.

    Posted on Monday, October 28, 2013 at 7:18am
  40. I agree with Jen ^
    The world Does need more religious leaders like him!

    Posted on Monday, October 28, 2013 at 8:07am
  41. <3

    Posted on Monday, October 28, 2013 at 11:35am
  42. Yay! Finally something good from my home state.

    Posted on Monday, October 28, 2013 at 11:55am