News (USA)

Retired Methodist ministers say they’ll break Church rules and perform gay weddings

RENO, Nev. — Five retired United Methodist ministers are taking a stand against their church’s rules regarding same-sex unions.

Retired Revs. John Emerson and Nadene DeWitt of Sparks and Karla Bowman of Reno announced at a news conference in Reno on Friday they’ve signed onto a covenant with 80 of their colleagues in California to perform same-sex holy unions.

Retired Revs. Bill McCord of Carson City and John Sublett of Sparks also are on board.

The retired pastors said they’re available in Nevada to perform same-sex holy unions for same-sex couples, and that pastors whose churches don’t condone the unions can refer gay and lesbian couples in their congregations to them, reported the Reno Gazette-Journal.

The United Methodist Church officially bans holy unions as well as same-sex marriages, which now are legal in California, but not in Nevada.

DeWitt said the Church’s position seems to fly in the face of its long history of being on the cutting edge of social justice.

Associated Press contributed to this report.

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