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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Green Street United Methodist Church in Winston-Salem will reportedly halt conducting marriages for heterosexual couples until United Methodist pastors are allowed to perform marriages for same-sex couples.

The Winston-Salem Journal, citing a statement from Equality N.C., reports the church’s leadership council, which consists of 18 members, is asking pastors to conduct “relationship blessings” as opposed to marriage ceremonies in the church’s sanctuary until the United Methodist Church changes its policies.

According to the Journal, a statement from a church spokesperson read, “On the matter of gay marriage, the church sees injustice in the legal position of state government and the theological position of our denomination.  North Carolina prohibits same-sex marriage and all the rights and privileges marriage brings.  The leadership council has asked that their ministers join others who refuse to sign any state marriage licenses until this right is granted to same-sex couples.”

The statement continued, “Green Street is presently the only reconciling congregation in the western North Carolina Conference.  With a growing number of LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer) members, Green Street seeks to be a public witness to its community, conference and denomination.”

North Carolina voters approved a constitutional ban on gay marriage in May 2012.  The Journal reports 53 percent of voters In Forsyth County approved of the amendment.

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