Despite opposition, Methodist bishop performs wedding ceremony for 2 gay men in Birmingham
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - A retired United Methodist bishop has performed a wedding ceremony for two gay men in Alabama despite opposition from other church leaders.
Bishop Melvin G. Talbert of Nashville, Tenn., says he will be the first Methodist bishop to officiate at a same-sex wedding.
The ceremony took place Saturday afternoon in metro Birmingham.
The local bishop and other leaders say the wedding violates church law.
Joe Openshaw says he and longtime partner Bobby Prince asked Talbert to marry them when they were refused permission to marry in their United Methodist church.
Talbert and other Methodist supporters of same-sex rights have been encouraging their denomination to recognize homosexual marriages for years.
The men wed legally in Washington, D.C., last month. Prince says he and his partner wanted a religious ceremony as well.