Green Street United Methodist Church in Winston-Salem, North Carolina is making a stand for same-sex marriage. According to CBS Charlotte on Monday, the church has elected to stop performing marriage ceremonies for straight couples until same-sex marriage is legalized.
This is a huge statement by the church who posted on the front page of their website their refusal to sign any state marriage licenses until same-sex couples are granted the legal right to marry. They also asked other churches to join them.
On their website, the statement reads:
"Because the United Methodist Church prohibits its pastors from conducting same-sex weddings, excluding gay and lesbian couples from the holy sacrament of marriage, the Leadership Council has asked the pastor to refrain from conducting wedding ceremonies in our sanctuary for straight couples, until the denomination lifts its ban for same-sex couples."
The news comes a week before the Supreme Court is set to consider two key same-sex marriage issues. So the timing is good as far as for the church making this stand. As of now neither the state of North Carolina nor the church sanctions gay marriages.
Church officials feel that all couples who make a commitment need a "supportive community of faith to sustain and uphold them so as to grow in faith and love." They believe weddings are a celebration of that commitment, love and support. Green Street United Methodist Church is making a stand and "claim the committed same-sex relationships as no less sacred in their ministry to us and the community."
Back in 2012, North Carolina voters passed a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. Supporters of the ban believed it was necessary to stop those trying to "redefine marriage". Green Street United Methodist is demonstrating that all marriages are defined by the bond of love and a community of support.