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Mennonite Pastor Under Review For Presiding Over Same-Sex Wedding - VIDEO

Assembly Mennonite Church Pastor Karl Shelly

The Mennonite church is set to review the credentials of Pastor Karl Shelly who in May presided over a same-sex wedding in violation of the church’s rules, reports The Michigan City News-Dispatch.

Mennonite church guidelines state that pastors may not perform a same-sex covenant ceremony. Because the church has a strong focus on social justice issues, many members view its non-recognition of same-sex marriage as incompatible with its identity as a whole. 

Shelly wrote in a statement submitted to the Indiana-Michigan Mennonite conference that he performed the service after determining that "being born with a same-sex sexual orientation and entering into a life-long covenant of fidelity and love with another human being is not sin.”

Mennonite Central District Conference minister Lois Johns Kauffmann said that although the body once before reviewed a pastor who performed a same-sex marriage ceremony, the credentials were not revoked.

According to Nancy Kauffman, denominational minister for Mennonite Church USA, a debate on whether the church should allow same-sex covenant ceremonies is likely to arise at the national assembly next year.

Back in June, Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, Virginia said that it would defer its decision on hiring gay faculty while the Eastern Mennonite University community continued its “discernment of human sexuality."

Watch Pastor Shelly speak about Assembly Mennonite Church's journey to becoming a member of the LGBT-affirming Supportive Communities Network, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Federal Judge Rules Indiana Must Recognize Out Of State Same-Sex Marriages: READ

YoungOn Tuesday, a federal judge ruled that Indiana must recognize same-sex marriages performed out of state, nullifying a provision of the state's ban on same-sex marriage that forbade gay couples wed elsewhere from being recognized as married in the Hoosier state. The AP reports:

U.S. District Judge Richard Young decided Indiana must recognize the marriage of Michelle and Shannon Bowling of Indianapolis, who were married in Polk County, Iowa, on Jan. 18, 2011. Shannon Bowling is employed by the Indiana Department of Correction, and couple sued to seek state benefits for Michelle Bowling and her children from a previous relationship.

Judge Young also issued a ruling in June that struck down Indiana's same-sex marriage ban in broader terms. Though weddings quickly ensued following his decision, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals intervened and stayed Young's decision. Young's latest decision on same-sex marriages performed out of state is also stayed until the 7th Circuit has a chance to review. 

Read Judge Young's latest order, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Indiana Woman Claims Water Park Kicked Her Out Because She's Gay: VIDEO

Jill sweeney

An Indiana woman says she was singled out because of her sexual orientation when she was asked to leave a water park during her bachelorette party.

Jill Sweeney said she was forced to leave Michigan Adventure in Muskegon because she was wearing men’s swimming trunks and a tank top, reports The Indy Channel.

The park’s website specifies that "all participants [must] be in swim suits. Street clothes (athletic clothing, nylon shorts, jean shorts, etc.) are not permitted. Metal snaps, buttons, rivets, or zippers are not allowed."

However, Sweeney says she was wearing “men's bathing suit trunks, a sports bra...with no wires and a tank top,” that there is no reference on the website to gender-specific clothing and that other people at the park were wearing street clothes.

Speaking to ABC 57, the park’s manager said that Sweeney was wearing prohibited street clothes.

Watch The Indy Channel's report, AFTER THE JUMP...


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Indiana Anti-Gay Activist Compares Gay Marriage to Incest, Marrying a Computer or Toaster

MicahClarkIn the two-day window between when a federal judge ruled Indiana’s ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional on June 25 and when a stay was issued, hundreds of gay couples were able to obtain marriage licenses in the Hoosier State.

Naturally, some of these marriages were announced in local newspapers across the state, which naturally drew the ire of Micah Clark, executive director of the American Family Association of Indiana  

"The [Tipton County Tribune] decided to print an announcement of two young men who exchanged their vows," he tells OneNewsNow. "And as I've said, simply because someone 'exchanges vows' doesn't mean the newspaper has to applaud it with an announcement. I could exchange vows with my sister, with my computer, with my toaster – and that doesn't mean the newspaper has to applaud it and print it."

Clarke went on to call the announcement a “political stunt.”

[via Good As You]

Indiana Governor Refuses To Recognize Marriages, Pending Appeal

Mike_Pence,_official_portrait,_112th_CongressIndiana's ban on gay marriage was struck down on June 25 by U.S. District Judge Richard Young, and a stay was issued two days later on the 27th by the the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

This two-day window left enough time for hundreds of eager Indiana couples to get married. Unfortunately for most of these couples, their marriages are not yet legally binding.

On Monday, Mark G. Ahearn, General Counsel to Governor Mike Pence sent a memo to Indiana's executive branch. In it, Ahearn clarifies that while Governor Pence (pictured) first instructed courts to follow the ban overturn, once the stay was issued, all further marriage proceedings were halted.

The fate of Indiana couples who married before the stay hangs in the balance. The 7th Circuit Court has allowed only one couple to keep legal status for now, and it's on an emergency basis; the couple in question includes a woman with a terminal case of ovarian cancer.

The other couples, as IndyStar notes, face many uncertainties. Until the court resolves this matter, health benefits, tax filings, and visitation rights for the hospital are up in the air.

Check out the memo from Governor Pence's administration here or AFTER THE JUMP...

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Kentucky Gay Marriage Plaintiff Timothy Love Discusses Heyburn Ruling: VIDEO

Timothy love

In a July 3rd ruling, Judge John G. Heyburn struck down Kentucky’s ban on same-sex marriage.  

The news came with the announcement last week that Highland Baptist Church in Kentucky plans to marry David Bannister and Steven Carr in May 2015.

Although Heyburn ruled that "long-held religious beliefs do not trump the constitutional rights of those who happen to have been out-voted," he stayed the ruling until the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decides same-sex marriage cases from Kentucky and three other states, including the June 25 striking down of Indiana’s same-sex marriage ban and the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals' ruling in Utah which ruled broadly in favor of marriage equality.

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear has hired an out-of-state law firm to handle the appeal after Attorney General Jack Conway declined to appeal the ruling.  According to USA Today, Beshear's arguments are "not those of serious people."

Beshear's lawyers will make their arguments to reverse Heyburn's ruling on August 6.

Read Ari Ezra Waldman’s review of Heyburn’s ruling and watch lead plaintiff Timothy Love discuss the case, AFTER THE JUMP...

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