US: 85-year-old Dallas minister suspended for officiating at gay wedding
A minister in the US state of Texas has been suspended for officiating at the same-sex wedding of two men in their 80s.
Retired United Methodist minister Bill McElvaney, in January announced that he would officiate at the wedding of Jack Evans and George Harris, both in their 80s, and who had been together for 53 years.
85-year-old Reverend McElvaney of Northaven United Methodist Church has now announced that he has been suspended for up to 90 days, following a complaint by Reverend Camille Gaston.
In a statement he said: “I would like to ask Northaven members to hold the bishop, the complainant and me in your prayerful concerns as the process unfolds. I encourage no other response to the bishop’s letter at this time.”
The reverend emiratus is also battling cancer, and had radiation treatment just days before the wedding. He performed the ceremony sitting down at a non-methodist church.
After officiating at the ceremony, he said: ”The marriage of George and Jack is a sign of God’s love and their love for each other and our love for one another,
“It’s sufficient to say George and Jack are offering a gift, an invitation and a challenge to the United Methodist Church to become … a fully inclusive church… And we thank them for that.”
On announcing his decision to officiate at the wedding, 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…”