50 Ministers Bless Same-Sex Marriage in Pennsylvania

20131110_inq_swed10-aBill Gatewood and Rick Taylor’s wedding at the Arch Street United Methodist Church only called for one minister to marry them. But what they got was neither one minister nor two… they got fifty!

Despite the risk it puts on them losing their credentials, these ministers showed up at the wedding to echo their support of same-sex marriage, an issue being debated in the Methodist Church, as well as to show their support for a colleague who is personally affected regarding this matter. The colleague in question is Rev. Frank Schaefer of Lebanon, PA, who will stand trial on November 18 in front of the church. His apparent crime: officiating his son’s same-sex wedding.

During the Gatewood-Taylor wedding the members of the Methodist clergy along with other clergy from other denomination filled the front of the church after the vows were exchanged. They rested their hands on each other and the couple, then said in unison, “Those whom God has joined together, let no one put asunder.”

Although same-sex marriage is not yet legal in Pennsylvania, it was a big deal for both Gatewood and Taylor to get married at their place of worship, a place where they felt accepted and where they have been going to for many years. They spoke of how blessed they felt to have their church as an anchor for times of trouble in their lives.

When asked why they didn’t get married in another state where same-sex marriage is legal, Taylor said, “We live in Pennsylvania and out church home is here and it means the world to us.”

Rev. Robin Hynicka, pastor at Arch Street, declared, “your church, your pastor, those pastors who have gathered here today, clergy not only who are United Methodists but other faiths as well, say you are not only accepted but you are acceptable in the sight of God,” while almost 400 people cheered in celebration.

“I’ve been wanting to do this all my life,” Gatewood said. “In church.”


This article was based on a piece on the Huffington Post.

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