Monday, November 21, 2011

Pastor May Lose Church Over Support for Marriage Rights

Pullen Memorial Baptist Church
Rev. Matt Glover, of the Lillydale Baptist Church in Australia is facing a church vote to throw him out as pastor. Glover says that church members are "happy with my work here, my preaching and my care of people struggling, they're all okay with that, it's just my option that the government should recognize gay marriage which is the sticking point."

"I've said the church doesn't have to recognize gay marriage," said Glover, "the church doesn't have to practice gay marriage, but I think the church needs to stand up for the right of gay people to have their relationships, their marriages, legally recognized by the government." Apparently the good reverend's view are far too libertarian for some in his congregation.

Meanwhile, in Raleigh, North Carolina another Baptist Church is breaking with tradition. The congregation voted to forbid the minister to perform any legally-binding marriages until same-sex couples are given the right to marry. The congregations issues a formal statement attacking a Republican-sponsored measure to ban gay couples from entering into marriage contracts. The vote of the congregation was unanimous.

The church says the minister may perform religious ceremonies but is forbidden to sign state issued documents making the marriage legal. In 1992 the Southern Baptist Convention threw the church out because it wasn't considered sufficiently anti-gay. (Did they thrown out churches that were not sufficiently pro-slavery in the past? The denomination was founded when southern Baptist churches split from northern churches because the southern Baptists supported enslaving human beings as being the will of God.) Pullen also welcomed black members to the church during the late 50s.

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