Salon reports that the Green Street United Methodist Church in Winston-Salem will stop performing weddings for straight couples until same-sex marriage is legal in North Carolina (Emphasis added):
As an Anti-Racist, Reconciling Congregation, Green Street United Methodist Church seeks to be in faithful ministry with all people in the brokenness of our world. This statement is being adopted as a sign of our commitment to love and justice for all people.
The Marriage Covenant between two people is a ministry of the church. 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. Weddings are the occasion for covenant making, a time to seek God’s blessing on their commitment to one another. When a couple chooses to be married in the church, they should also be conscious that they are making a declaration of their relationship as a new ministry for the congregation and the world. At Green Street Church, we claim the committed same-sex relationships as no less sacred in their ministry to us and the community.
But sadly, at this time in the United Methodist Church, marriages, weddings and holy unions are limited to heterosexual couples. As our nation struggles to provide legal recognition to people in same-sex relationships and provide them the privileges allotted to opposite-sex married couples, our denomination struggles to overcome the sin of reserving these sacramental privileges for straight people only. We, the leaders of Green Street Church, see people in same-sex relationships as completely worthy of the Sacrament of Marriage. We reject any notion that they are second class citizens in the Kingdom of God.
WOW. Just wow. That’s some statement.
Tell me again, “What Would Jesus Do?”
Although support for gay marriage has reached a new high of 58% of the American public—including 81% of 18-29 year olds—same sex marriage is constitutionally prohibited in North Carolina. It’s worth mentioning that the Green Street United Methodist Church are also bucking the 2012 vote of their own church elders by supporting gay marriage rights. 59% of Catholics, 62% of independents, and 34% of Republicans are pro-gay marriage according to recent polling.