A United Methodist Church pastor based in Texas will undergo an investigation for performing a same-sex marriage in defiance of the church body's law.
Bishop Michael McKee of the North Texas Annual Conference announced Monday that retired clergyman the Reverend Bill McElvaney would undergo a "supervisory process."
"Administrative and pastoral in nature, this process seeks a just resolution in which God's work of justice, reconciliation, and healing may be realized in the body of Christ," said McKee. "It is my prayer that our members, both clergy and laity, affirm the goals of this process with their prayers and respect for the confidential nature of this process which seeks reconciliation as its ultimate goal."
McKee also stated that a suspension for McElvaney for violating the denomination's law "is not being pursued" by the process.
"Together, let us be in prayer for our conference as we seek to engage in constructive conversations about the issues that face our denomination, the body of Christ, our cities, and most of all our neighbors," said McKee. "Let us also pray for our church as it looks to the Holy Spirit to help us navigate through differing points of view, understandings of the gospel, and commitment to our covenant together as United Methodists."
In January, McElvaney announced online his intention to perform a same-sex marriage rite even though the UMC forbids clergy from doing so.
"This is much more than an issue to be addressed. It's all about acceptance as human beings, about not having one's worth voted on by peers who believe a few scriptural passages formed by the apostle Paul are more authoritative than the numerous persuasive and powerful texts lifting up God's radical love through Jesus Christ," stated McElvaney.
According to the UMC Book of Discipline, homosexuality is "incompatible with Christian teaching" and clergy cannot perform or bless same-sex unions.
In March, McElvaney made good on his intentions and officiated the same-sex wedding of Jack Evans and George Harris at Midway Hills Christian Church.
A complaint was filed by Reverend Camille Gaston of Richardson, who serves as superintendent for the Metro District of the Texas Conference.
McElvaney is one of many American clergy who belong to the global denomination that have opted to perform gay marriages despite church law.
Clergy found to have performed gay weddings have had a variety of punishments, ranging from two day suspensions to being defrocked and thus losing their clergy credentials.