Rev. Benjamin Hutchison was forced to resign from the Cassopolis United Methodist Church in Cassopolis, Michigan, this week because he is openly gay and has a partner, Monty Hutchison (video below).
Hutchison has been with the church since January 2013, and legally took Monty's last name in February 2013.
Rev. John Boley, the United Methodist Church's district superintendent, contacted Benjamin earlier this week about his relationship with Monty.
"He asked me if I did and I said yes," Benjamin told MLive.com. "By that evening at 7:00 I resigned under the condition of immediate termination. If I wouldn't have resigned, they would have fired me."
“I told him, I said, 'I would never deny Monty to anybody,'" Benjamin told WOOD. "He is my life partner and I have chosen him to be my life partner.”
While Benjamin was surprised how long it took for him to be confronted, he does acknowledge that pastors cannot be gay according to the rules of the United Methodist Church.
Benjamin claims he helped the church grow and resolve a $9,000 budget problem. He said he planned to marry Monty on July 17.
Many churchgoers are defending Benjamin, whom they have known is gay for more than three years, and have accepted his homosexuality even though his church forbids it.
A message on the church sign supports Benjamin, and there is a mourning display on the pastor's pulpit and chair.