A Catholic church in North Carolina is refusing to host an interfaith Thanksgiving worship service after finding out that a gay man in a same sex marriage would be participating as music director.
The Charlotte Observer reported that St. Matthew Catholic Church in Ballanytne had dropped its plans to host Mecklenburg Ministries’ 38th annual Thanksgiving Interfaith Service because event planners had requested that Steav Bates-Congdon, music director at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Fort Mill, be invited to participate.
And this is not the first time that Bates-Congdon and St. Matthew have crossed paths: He served as the music director at the church until 2012, when he was fired for marrying his longtime partner Bill.
“At the heart of our core values is honoring the dignity of all people and not excluding anyone,” Mecklenburg Ministries board member Rev. Christy Snow told The Charlotte Observer.
Bates-Congdon, who is expected to sing and conduct one of the musical selections, called Mecklenburg Ministries “heroes” for taking a stand.
“Mecklenburg Ministries refused to let me stay home for Thanksgiving,” he said.
The 38th annual Thanksgiving Interfaith Service will be held at Covenant Presbyterian Church in Dilworth on Nov. 26.
Watch this video from WSOC, broadcast Feb. 11, 2012.