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Pastor fired for performing same-sex wedding

by WJAC Web Staff

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- A Centre County pastor who performed a same-sex wedding at the State College mayor's house has been fired by his congregation.

Rev. Ken Smelter married Joseph Davis and Gregory Scalzo in August.

The Pike County couple legally obtained a marriage license in Montgomery County. The register of wills there was issuing them to gay couples in defiance of a state law that effectively bans gay marriage.

State College Mayor Elizabeth Goreham had originally planned to marry the couple herself, but said she changed her mind when she learned it would violate her oath of office.

Mayor Goreham praised Rev. Smelter for doing what he considered the right thing. 

"I believe Ken is a hero for standing up for his beliefs," she said, "but he paid for them."

The congregation at the Church of the Brethren voted to remove Rev. Smelter as pastor. 

Mayor Goreham said she is a friend of Rev. Smelter, and has no doubt he'd perform another gay wedding if asked.

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Edgar Snyder

Washington Times