AUSTIN, Texas — A Texas man recently proposed to his so-called boyfriend during the Sunday morning service at their “church” despite the United Methodist Church’s ban on same-sex “marriage.”
Trevor Harper, 36, recently posted a video of the event on YouTube to show that his congregation is accepting and approving of homosexuals.
Harper has been in a relationship with Davis Covin, 30, since 2006, and both have been attending the First United Methodist Church of Austin for the past two years.
Recently, both men were invited to share their “faith story” during the Sunday service, during which time Harper told those gathered that he was appreciative of the congregation’s approval of homosexual relationships.
At the end of his speech, Harper reached out for Covin’s arm and led him in front of the pulpit, as he dropped to one knee in a proposal. Many in the congregation then gave the two men a standing ovation and smiled as they hugged—including First United Methodist Church of Austin leader John Wright.
Wright had met with Harper prior to the service, and Harper said that Wright helped him plan the proposal.
“That church has been for us really the first time we have really been able to live out loud as a couple,” he told BuzzFeed.
Wright gave each of the men a hug before they left the stage.
Harper says that the two planned the proposal since the United Methodist denomination bans same-sex “weddings” and the two knew that they would not be permitted to tie the knot in the sanctuary.
The United Methodist Book of Discipline outlines that “the practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching” and that “self-avowed practicing homosexuals” may not be ordained as ministers in the denomination. It also forbids ministers from hosting or participating in “ceremonies that celebrate homosexual unions.”
“Your lifestyle, your sexuality, your choices, who you love —they don’t define your right to search out the faith that makes you feel whole,” Harper told reporters. “You cant let your sexuality define your right to walk a spiritual walk.”
While a panel within the leadership of the United Methodist Church voted in May to submit a proposal to change the denomination’s law book to remove prohibitions against homosexual behavior and to allow clergy to officiate same-sex ceremonies, some both within and without of the denomination still oppose the accommodation.
In an article entitled “Why Many Methodists Still Oppose Same-Sex Marriage,” John Lemperis, the Director of the UM Action program of the Institute on Religion and Democracy, said that the Bible is crystal clear on the matter.
“Even liberal Biblical scholars now agree that the Old and New Testaments are very clear in their moral disapproval of homosexual practice,” he wrote. “More fundamentally, Scripture paints a beautiful picture of marriage as a holy covenant of intensely intimate, self-giving community between man and woman, uniting the two most basic, equal categories of humanity.”
“We submit to Jesus as Lord,” Lemperis stated. “If He is truly Lord, then no area of our lives can be off-limits to Him. Jesus spoke strongly about the centrality of self-denial in following Him, which often means dramatic personal sacrifices, including not acting on powerful desires for things outside of God’s best for us. … Jesus and new life in Him are more than worth it.”