Gay reverend marries life partner; wants church to change its doctrine

Posted at 6:07 PM, Jul 17, 2015
and last updated 2015-07-17 18:07:49-04

CASS COUNTY, Mich. -- While same-sex marriage is now legal in the United States, it continues to be a controversial issue with many different opinions. Reverend Benjamin Hutchison married his life partner, Monty, today. He said he hopes the Methodist church changes its stance on homosexuality.

Hutchison said he was forced to step down from his post as pastor of Cassopolis United Methodist Church earlier this week because of his sexuality.

Today, clergy and community members gathered on the steps of the Cass County Courthouse as the men said their "I dos" at their wedding ceremony.

Monty said, “It feels like shot out of a rocket. All that’s going on. Being with the love of my life and making it official.”

Minister Ginny Mikita said, “It’s remarkable and honestly, I did not think I would live to see the day that this would be legally recognized during my lifetime."

She added, "I’m delighted to be here, and I’m thrilled that we had so many children and teenagers here with us this afternoon.”

Some of the people in attendance included members of Cassopolis United Methodist Church, where Hutchison used to pastor. While members can be gay, he said church doctrine speaks against homosexuality. Hutchison said his congregation was okay with him being gay, and that he even changed his last name 2-and-a-half years ago to his now-husband’s name. Hutchison said he wishes the methodist church would see things differently.

He said, “The organization, yes. I would like the church structure to change their views. Mostly because as a psychotherapist I struggle with the children, as I quoted in my thesis."

"Because of the disciplines, our queer youth are killing themselves. And it is a religious terrorism by the doctrines they hold. Our youth are killing themselves because of it. Moment by moment as we speak here, there’s children killing themselves because the church says 'no, you are not a child of God. You can not be married and officiate the sacraments.' So the church must change for the well-being of our children," he explained.

The reverend said he’s moving on with his life.