The Rev. Michael Tupper has slept outside his house for more than two months in Parchment, Michigan, to protest his denomination, the United Methodist Church, for not accepting same-sex marriage or ordaining gay people (video below).
Tupper officiated the wedding of his daughter, Sarah, to another woman in 2015. In doing so, he violated the rules of the UMC, reports WSJV.
“I chose to do that, and complaint was filed,” Tupper told ThinkProgress. “All of sudden it became so clear to me -- the discrimination against LGBT people in the church.”
Tupper and eight other pastors were part of officiating the same-sex marriage of Rev. Benjamin and Monty Hutchison on July 17, 2015, notes UMC's website.
Tupper originally lived in a tent outside an UMC official's office to discourage church discipline. When the discipline moved ahead, Tupper moved his tent outside his own home.
“Most nights it gets into the 20s. It’s gotten down to 5 degrees,” Tupper told ThinkProgress. “Yeah it’s cold. But I’ve managed.”
The UMC website states:
"The Book of Discipline, the denomination’s law book, bans pastors from officiating at same-sex unions and prohibits 'self-avowed practicing' gay clergy from serving United Methodist churches. Since 1972, the book has proclaimed that all people are of sacred worth but that the practice of homosexuality is 'incompatible with Christian teaching.'”
“It’s to symbolize how our church -- particularly the United Methodist Church -- is pushing LGBT people outside,” Tupper added. “It symbolizes how we push LGBT people out of the church and into the cold.”
“It’s a very small sacrifice to pay compared to the experience that my daughter and other LGBTQ people have had in the church … the rejection they’ve experienced is so much more than my little physical discomfort. It’s a God thing … I’m willing to do it for my daughter.”
Tupper will have a hearing in May during the UMC's general conference.