A North Carolina Baptist church has voted to prohibit its pastor from legally marrying a heterosexual couple until gay marriage is legal in the state, the News Observer reported.

The 650-member congregation of Pullen Memorial Baptist Church, a progressive, gay-inclusive church in Raleigh, voted on Sunday for the measure.

The congregants described North Carolina's marriage laws as discriminatory in a formal statement.

“As people of faith, affirming the Christian teaching that before God all people are equal, we will no longer participate in this discrimination,” the statement reads.

Marriages will continue to take place at the church, but its pastor, Nancy Petty, won't sign a certificate the state requires to establish a legal marriage.

Sunday's unanimous vote was prompted by Petty expressing concerns over the summer that being barred from signing legal marriage certificates for gay couples had become a burden on her conscience.

North Carolina voters in May will decide on whether to amend the state constitution forbidding the state from recognizing the unions of gay couples with marriage, civil unions and possibly domestic partnerships.

A decision to bless the unions of gay couples resulted in the church being kicked out of the Southern Baptist Convention in 1992.