State College, PA - Centre County - Central Pennsylvania - Home of Penn State University

Pastor Fired From Congregation After Marrying Same Sex Couple

by on September 24, 2013 12:42 PM

The pastor who married a same sex couple in State College last month has been fired from his congregation, according to State College Mayor Elizabeth Goreham.

Goreham says Rev. Ken Kline Smeltzer was let go from the Church of Brethren parish, and that it had a direct correlation to his officiating the ceremony.

Joseph Davis and Gregory Scalzo were married in Goreham's home last month. The Register of Wills in Montgomery County began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples despite the fact that same-sex marriage is not legal in Pennsylvania.

"Pastors and congregations have differing views in placing importance on different things. That's their prerogative," Goreham says.

Goreham says Smeltzer authorized her to speak with the media on his behalf.

According to Goreham, Smeltzer was asked to go before the board of his congregation after it was revealed in the media he was the pastor who performed the same-sex wedding ceremony. Smeltzer says the pastor doesn't want to speak publicly until he finds a new congregation.

Even though he was fired, Goreham said she still admires his courage.

"He would still perform another wedding if asked," she says.

Adam Lidgett is a freelance reporter who has covered news and feature stories in State College and Centre County.
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