A Texas musician has been suspended without pay from his church after he officiated a wedding for a lesbian couple.
Johnny Griffith told the Longview News-Journal that he was delighted to have the opportunity to participate in a wedding ceremony at Synergy Park in Kilgore for Jessica Vargas and Tonya Hayes last week.
“I was honored and thrilled to be officiating today’s ceremony,” Griffith explained. “I was just happy to be a part of it.”
But after news of the wedding reached members Mobberly Baptist Church over the weekend, Griffith was barred from performing during Sunday services.
Mobberly Baptist Church spokesperson Mickey Seward announced in a statement on Sunday that Griffith had been put on indefinite pause," meaning he was losing a paycheck he had depended on for four years.
Seward told the Longview News-Journal that Griffith would only be allowed to return to work when church leaders were certain that his "spiritual values line up."
"Any person who is in a leadership or prominent position at Mobberly is expected to uphold the core values of the church," Seward explained. "That is a longstanding policy of Mobberly Baptist Church, just as it is in most churches, organizations and businesses."
"When we are confident that spiritual values line up, then we'll be able to discuss the possibility of future service with Mobberly,"
But Griffith asserted that supporting same-sex marriages was "the best representation of the example Christ portrayed in the Gospels, portraying the spirit of love, light and peace."
"It's unfortunate that trying to do the right thing took money out of my family's budget," he remarked. "But I would make the same decision again tomorrow if asked."