RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — On Tuesday, the United Methodist Church Worldwide Conference voted to ban same-sex marriage and openly gay clergy.
One Raleigh church is fighting back.
“Let us not rest until all people can be welcome to worship God in any space that they choose,” said Reverend Jason Butler with Open Table Methodist Church in Raleigh. “That is what we will fight for.”
Butler says no law is higher than the law of love.
“I was just broken,” said Butler. “I felt almost sick inside because I knew that for so many of our LGBTQ friends this was yet another voice, another church saying that we close our doors.”
For the past year, Open Table has welcomed people from all walks of life.
“That has meant everything for us, finding a church that allows us to be who we are,” said Brittany Taylor, who is an LGBTQ member of the church.
Depris Price says as an openly gay black man, he’s no stranger to adversity. Growing up he was always taught it was a sin to be himself.
“It was the untouched subject,” said Price. “You did not talk about this and even if you did it was only during like Sunday school and you just said it’s wrong to be homosexual. There was no reasoning, there was no explanation.”
Reverend Butler says the decision comes with penalties for those who break the rules. For example, clergy who officiate same-sex weddings could be suspended without pay for a year. But that won’t stop him.
“We are going to be a holy sacred resistance to this and if that means there are repercussions, then there are repercussions,” said Butler.
At the end of the service, everyone in the church lit a candle to symbolize the light of love and show that everyone in this church is loved and accepted.
“A lot of people in the LGBTQ community want to be a part of the church and they have been cast out,” explained Price. “They have been ostracized; they have been hurt over and over again. For us to have a pastor who is like Jason Butler that says he’s gonna stand with us is amazing and comforting.”
The church says they plan to fight until this new ruling is reversed.