A bishop in the US state of Michigan has offered his strong support to same-sex marriage, as a federal judge prepares to make a ruling on it.

Gay marriage advocates in the US state of Michigan are hopefully anticipating a ruling by a federal judge, which could strike down the state’s ban on same-sex marriage, and is expected very soon.

Bishop Wendell Gibbs is the head of the Episcopal church in southeastern Michigan, and offered the opinion to more than 80 churches in his remit.

The announcement does not mean that same-sex marriage can immediately take place in Episcopal churches in the state, as technically same-sex unions go against formal church teachings.

He said: “Picking and choosing whose rights should be protected or which civil rights the church will support is neither American ‘justice for all’ nor supported by the God of salvation history.”

“I stand in support of marriage equality and pray that our justice system will work to break down the walls of segregation, promote the humanity of all and calm our irrational fears,” Gibbs continued.

He made the announcement from the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan.

The church also stressed that priests will be under no obligation to perform same-sex weddings, should it choose to change its teachings.