A gay couple at Green Street United Methodist Church has filed a complaint with their bishop charging that their pastor violated church discipline by refusing to preside at a marriage ceremony for them — despite the denomination’s rules that forbid same-sex marriages.
Green Street members Kenny Barner and Scott Chappell, who have been together for nine years, filed the complaint and spoke during a Wednesday evening press conference at their church. They stood with their pastor, the Rev. Kelly P. Carpenter, and made clear that their beef was with the denomination, not Carpenter.
The complaint was filed with Bishop Larry Goodpaster, who leads the Western North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church, of which Green Street is a member.
The two men are charging Carpenter with violating a church discipline that calls on pastors to “be in ministry with all people,” and also are complaining against what they are calling “gender discrimination.” The men said they are married, but couldn’t celebrate their wedding in their church.