A minister in the US state of Texas has said he is to begin performing weddings for gay and lesbian couples.

Emeritus Pastor Reverend Bill McElvaney, of Dallas, on Sunday announced the decision at his church, the Northaven United Methodist church in North Dallas,

The decision was based on “acceptance”, he said, but it defies church law.

Reverend McElvaney said: “It’s all about acceptance as human beings,” McElvaney said, in part. “About not having one’s worth voted on by peers who believe a few scriptural passages…”

Some have speculated that the chances of the pastor being punished by the Methodist Church may be lower as he is retired, however the church is yet to comment on the decision.

Same-sex marriages are not recognised in the US state of Texas.