Retired Tennessee bishop ignoring gay wedding ban in Ala.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) -- A retired United Methodist bishop from Tennessee says he will perform a wedding service for two gay men in Alabama despite opposition from the presiding bishop.

Bishop Melvin G. Talbert said Monday it will be an "honor" to officiate at the ceremony later this month in metro Birmingham for Joe Openshaw and Bobby Prince.

While Alabama doesn't recognize gay marriage, Openshaw says he and Prince wed legally in Washington, D.C., last month.

Openshaw says they wanted to have a ceremony in their United Methodist church in suburban Birmingham, but Bishop Debra Wallace-Padgett refused permission.

Talbert says he will perform the ceremony Oct. 26 at a Christian church not aligned with the United Methodist denomination.

Official Methodist doctrine says homosexual practices violate Christian teachings, but Talbert says that teaching should change.


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