Openly gay Methodist minister marries after resignation

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Gay Marriage Michigan Pastor_180268

Surrounded by supporters pastor Benjamin David Hutchison, left, and Monty Hutchison, right, walk up the Cassopolis Courthouse steps before taking wedding vows in Cassopolis, Mich., Friday, July 17, 2015. Benjamin David Hutchison, an openly gay Southwest Michigan pastor, was forced to resign from the United Methodist Church earlier this week because he had a partner, […]

CASSOPOLIS, Mich. (AP) – An openly gay United Methodist pastor has gotten married several days after he says he was forced to resign.

The Kalamazoo Gazette and South Bend Tribune report the Rev. Benjamin Hutchison married Monty Hutchison Friday in Cassopolis outside southwestern Michigan’s historic Cass County Courthouse. Guests included about 30 ministers.

The 31-year-old says he resigned Monday from Cassopolis United Methodist Church. It came after the bishop’s office received a report he had a same-sex partner.

Hutchison says the congregation accepted his sexual orientation, but he understood it’s against his denomination’s discipline. The church accepts gay members but stipulates “self-avowed practicing homosexuals” can’t be ministers.

United Methodist officials decline to comment on personnel matters but say the church’s position on gay pastors will be discussed next year at its general conference.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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