96-Year-Old Mennonite Pastor Defrocked For Officiating Gay Son's Wedding: Today In Gay

A 96-year-old pastor has effectively been defrocked for officiating his son’s same-sex wedding.

When Pennsylvania's ban on same-sex marriage ended in July, Chester Wegner, a retired Mennonite pastor living in East Lampeter Township, happily agreed to officiate at the wedding of his son Phil Wenger and Phil's partner of 27 years, Steve Dinnocenti.

Only six guests were invited and the ceremony was not held on church grounds, but the Lancaster Mennonite Conference credentialing committee retired Wegner's credentials anyway in September.

“I know persons will accuse me for my transgression, but my act of love was done on behalf of the church I love, and my conscience is clear," he wrote in an open letter in The Mennonite.

Wegner says he believes in sanctifying gay relationships because it instills "a godly sexuality that is wholesome because it is covenanted, accountable to and blessed within the church… not left to fend for itself outside the church."

Liberty Ridge FarmCynthia and Robert Gifford, owners of Liberty Ridge Farm near Albany, New York,  have been ordered to pay $13,000 in fines and damages after turning away a lesbian couple hoping marry on the farmgrounds.

But when Melisa Erwin and Jennifer McCarthy asked about reserving a space for their totally legal nuptials, the Giffords said no. Earlier this fall, a judge declared Liberty Ridge a public accommodation and ruled the couple had been discriminated against.

“We respect and care for everyone!’’ Cynthia Gifford told the New York Post. “We had an openly gay man working for us this past season… We’ve had a woman who’s transitioning to be a man. We don’t discriminate against anyone.’’

Moving forward, the Giffords say they will no longer host weddings at the farm, only receptions—both hetero and homosexual.

"As a gay man, I've always felt so welcome here in Russia," John told the crowd. "Stories of Russian fans – men and women who fell in love dancing to 'Nikita' or their kids who sing along to 'Circle of Life' – mean the world to me. If I'm not honest about who I am, I couldn't write this music. It's not gay propaganda. It's how I express life. If we start punishing people for that, the world will lose its humanity."

The pastor of Bahamas Faith Ministries, Munroe attacked Pope Francis last year after the Holy Father said "who am I to judge" LGBT people: “What the Pope said is very dangerous in my view," declared Munroe. "[It] seems to suggest that he is claiming that he cannot judge individuals who embrace, chose and encourage a lifestyle that is clearly (prohibited) and stated in scripture."

Munroe had also blasted efforts at garnering civil rights for the LGBT community: “Is it civil, right, reasonable, logical, sane to promote a cause, lifestyle or practice of a behavior that could in its ultimate conclusion cause the extinction of the human race. It is insanity to demand the ‘celebration’ of your own extinction."

Most recently, he called a Pride event scheduled for September "a celebration of insanity." (The event was canceled after organizers received multipledeath threats.)

Munroe, his wife Ruth and an entourage of seven died in a plane crash in Grand Bahama on Sunday.

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