The wedding of the two men was not held at the pastor's church. Instead it was at a central Pennsylvania mayor's home.
Rev. Ken Kline Smeltzer, 62, of Boalsburg, told the Centre Daily Times that he performed the marriage ceremony of two Pike County men on Aug. 19 at the home of State College Mayor Elizabeth Goreham who had pledged to marry any same-sex couples who came to her.
After officials told the mayor she would violate her oath of office to perform same-sex marriage, she invited Smeltzer, a local pastor to do it instead.
Smeltzer admits his views about same-sex marriages are different from those of the Burnham Church of the Brethren where he was a pastor before he was fired.
Cheryl Brumbaugh-Coyford, spokeswoman for the denomination based in Elgin, Illinois, confirmed that pastors for Brethren churches are not appointed or assigned by the denomination, so individual Brethren churches can hire and fire their own pastors. Therefore, according to Brumbaugh-Coyford, “at this point it's a personnel matter for that congregation.”
“The Church of the Brethren upholds the biblical declaration that heterosexuality is the intention of God for creation,” according to the statement.
Smeltzer is just one of six members listed on the board of the Progressive Brethren Council which condones same-sex marriage.