A Mississippi pastor is protesting the possibility of legal marriage equality in his state by dressing his horse in a wedding dress outside a federal courthouse, WJTV-TV reported.
“The horse is to show the ridiculous idea of two men getting married,” Rev. Edward James said about his one-man (and one-animal) demonstration.
Conservatives often criticize legalizing same-sex marriages by comparing it to bestiality. James, who leads the congregation at Bertha Chapel Missionary Baptist Church, held one sign stating in part, “Do you take this horse to be your unnatural wedded spouse to have and to hold?” Another sign read, “Marriage is one man and one woman… anything else is a perversion.”
U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves struck down the state ban on marriage equality last month, but stayed his ruling to allow state officials time to bring an appeal.
James acknowledged the “ridiculous” nature of his display in an interview with the Jackson Clarion Ledger.
“I’m hoping that Judge Reeves will reconsider his ruling and that Mississippi will stay a state that will only recognize marriage between a man and a woman,” James said.
The Advocate reported that the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals is scheduled to hear oral arguments in the case on Jan. 9. The case involves one same-sex couple seeking a new license for their marriage, and another petitioning the state to recognize their marriage, which was performed in California. Similar cases involving marriage equality bans in Louisiana and Texas are set to be heard separately on the same day.
“The argument is not about sin or religious belief or what the church says about marriage equality,” local LGBT activist Eddie Outlaw told WJTV. “It is strictly about benefits, rights, protection extended by government not by the church.”
Watch WJTV’s report, as aired on Friday, below.