(Blogmensgo, gay blog of April 29, 2016) Two fifty-years-old American men, John Romano and Jim Wilborne, got married in a Methodist church in Charlotte, NC (USA) on April 23, 2016. The religious ceremony was held by pastor Val Rosenquist and the retired bishop Melvin G. Talbert. The two priests may get into trouble with their Church because the United Methodist Church considers homosexuality as incompatible with Christian beliefs and is strictly opposed to gay and lesbian wedding ceremonies.
This YouTube video shows Jim Wilborne and John Romano’s wedding:
Charlotte is the capital of North Carolina, a state in the South of the USA, which is severely marked by homophobia (see our article).
Val Rosenquist (59) is known as very gay-friendly and performed this ceremony together with Melvin Talber who had already performed a gay wedding in 2013.
Talbert (81) had once shared the same prison cell with Martin Luther King because he had publicly stated that blacks are people like all the others.
This time, Rosenquist and Talber affirm that gay couples are couples just like all the others.
Val Rosenquist’s church has welcomed LGBT people since 2014 and decided in favor of same-sex weddings in August 2015. John Romano and Jim Wilborne are the first gay couple to wed in this church.
The two priests have now put pressure on their Church to discuss same-sex weddings and inclusion of LGBT priests.
Here is an interview with the two husbands:
There is currently a gay-friendly movement in the Methodist Church and within the Methodist bishops. A survey conducted by PRRI from May to December 2015 showed that 53% of the Methodists are for religious gay wedding ceremonies. Only the Evangelical fringe group is completely opposed to such ideas.
Some people in the Methodist Church have started a complaint against pastor Rosenquist, saying that the Methodist Church is based on texts that prohibit same-sex weddings.
The investigations and hearings in this matter may take up to three months.