About 40 Minnesota United Methodist
clergy have resolved to marry gay and lesbian couples in violation of
the church's stance, the Star-Tribune reported.
Reverend Bruce Robbins of the Hennepin
Avenue United Methodist Church in Minneapolis invited clergy to sign
on to a statement during the Methodists' annual conference in St.
Cloud this week.
Minnesota lawmakers last month approved
a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage in the state, sending
it to voters for their approval in 2012.
“Groups have been meeting who want to
challenge parts of the United Methodist polity with which we disagree
– that which relates to the lesbian, gay, transgender and bisexual
community and Christian marriage,” Robbins said.
“We feel it's especially important at
this time because it's a large issue within the state as well [as]
because of the [proposed] constitutional amendment prohibiting
marriage of all people,” Robbins told radio station WJON.
Clergy who officiate over a gay or
lesbian wedding face losing their church credentials. However,
signing onto the statement itself does not break church rules.