Rev. Ken Kline Smeltzer Fired by Church for Marrying Gay Couple
Rev. Ken Kline Smeltzer was fired after officiating the gay wedding of Joseph Davis and Gregory Scalzo on Aug. 19 in State College, Pa.
Smeltzer was the pastor for the Church of the Brethren when he officiated Davis and Scalzo’s wedding, which was hosted by State College Mayor Elizabeth Goreham at her home.
“He’s acting on his belief and the church is acting on theirs. I respect him very much and wish him well. I’m sad that the congregation felt they had to do that and separate ways,” Goreham told CentreDaily.com.
Goreham said she called Smeltzer to perform the couple’s wedding after being advised not to do so herself by local officials.
“It’s true, but I can’t give out any more information,” said Smeltzer, who added that “a few things have to play out” before he can speak publicly.
Same-sex marriage is illegal in Pennsylvania, but Davis and Scalzo’s marriage was approved by a local government employee, D. Bruce Hanes, who issued same-sex marriage licenses in July until he was forced to stop by a court order.
The Church of the Brethren denomination issued a statement at its annual conference in 1983 that said: “The Church of the Brethren upholds the biblical declaration that heterosexuality is the intention of God for creation,” noted the Associated Press.