Green Street United Methodist Church announced the complaint against its senior pastor, Kelly Carpenter, during a press conference Nov. 12.
The couple, Kenny Barner and Scott Chappell, say that by refusing to marry them, Carpenter
is violating the UMC Book of Discipline's requirement for pastors to "perform the work of the ministry" and refrain from "gender discrimination."
The couple's Oct. 30 complaint stated they had been "victimized by Reverend Carpenter's
adherence to United Methodist Church
rules," and that the denial of a church-ordained marriage had caused "great spiritual harm to us both."
himself supports same-sex marriage.
told United Methodist News Service the complaint was "right on the money" and that he
would have co-signed it if he
UMC rules prevent him from conducting a gay marriage without the risk of discipline.
In protest of church policy, Carpenter
promised in March 2013 to refrain from performing a heterosexual marriage at the church until the UMC
changes its position.
"The national opinion and political culture is rapidly changing on the issue of gay marriage," Carpenter
wrote at the time.