Dozens of retired clergy members across Northern California and Nevada have signed a pact saying they will perform same-sex marriages or holy unions in their churches across the two states.

The announcement comes in defiance against the United Methodist church law which forbids same-sex wedding ceremonies.

Eighty-two retired clergy members signed the covenant saying they would perform the weddings in their churches in California, where marriage certificates are being issued to same-sex couples.

The clergy members will also perform holy unions in Nevada.

Some signatories of the covenant used the steps of St Marks First United Methodist Church in Sacramento County in order to explain their position on the issue.

Reverend Don Fado said church law, known as the Book of Discipline, contains over 2,000 laws or rules, but that many are contradictory.

“We must disobey the unjust and divisive rules concerning homosexuality in order to be in compliance to the rules calling for acceptance and civil rights for all persons,” Fado said.

A church in the US state of North Carolina, has said that it wouldn’t conduct wedding ceremonies for straight couples, until its pastors are able to officiate same-sex weddings as well.