DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Jack Evans and George Harris will be married this weekend in a ceremony officiated by a retired minister from the United Methodist Church.
Reverend William McElvaney , 85, will officiate the service. He is a retired pastor from Northaven United Methodist Church on Preston Road. Because United Methodist Church law prevents its churches from hosting same-sex marriages, the service will be held at Midway Hills Christian Church.READ MORE: Anna Police Investigating Crash That Killed 22-Year-Old Man
Harris and Evans are also in their eighties, and have been together for 53 years. They are members of the Northaven congregation.
Reverend McElvaney says he knows he risks his standing as UMC clergy by performing the marriage for a same-sex couple, but he is a staunch supporter of equal rights for the LGBT community.
“I think it takes courage to make change. That’s always been true,” said Rev. McElvaney.
Northaven UMC is one of four “reconciling” congregations in the North Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church, meaning this particular church is inclusive of people of all sexual orientations.
While Harris and Evans’ union won’t be recognized by Texas law this weekend, Reverend McElvaney believes some day, it will be.READ MORE: Texas Joins Oklahoma's Effort To Overturn McGirt
“You cannot discriminate against people and claim that you love them, so when we marginalize people it’s contrary to the Gospel of love,” said Rev. McElvaney.
Thursday, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott filed a notice of appeal on a federal judge’s ruling from yesterday. Judge Orlando Garcia declared the Texas ban on gay marriage to be unconstitutional.
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