US: Retired bishop faces formal complaints for officiating at gay wedding

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A retired bishop is facing formal complaints over his decision to officiate at a same-sex wedding in Alabama.

The couple were refused permission to marry by the United Methodist church, at which point retired Bishop Melvin G Talbert offered to conduct the ceremony.

The church put out a statement saying complaints had been filed against Talbert for the ceremony conducted last October, which accuse him of violating the “sacred trust” given to him as a bishop through performing the ceremony.

Talbert, who is of Nashville Tennessee, has not commented on the complaints, but the couple said they hoped that the complaints against him would be dismissed.

Church officials declined to name who filed the complaints.

Last week the church dropped a case against a NYC pastor who was accused of going against its teachings by officiating at his gay son’s wedding.

Currently the Methodist church welcomes gay and lesbian people, but maintains that homosexuality is “incompatible with Christian teachings.” It also maintains that same-sex marriages must not be performed in its churches, or by its ordained ministers.

The church has around 12.5 million members worldwide, and is the second largest Protestant denomination in the US.