Chicago church draws protest after pastor kicks out member over gay wedding

Protesters gathered outside a large church in South Side, Chicago, on July 30 after its pastor "disfellowshipped" a woman from the congregation after news broke out that she had married another woman last week.

(REUTERS / Mick Tsikas)Two bride figurines adorn the top of a wedding cake during an illegal same-sex wedding ceremony in central Melbourne August 1, 2009.

Apostolic Church of God pastor Byron Brazier removed a long-time member from the congregation because she got married in a same-sex wedding ceremony last week. The move caused almost two dozen people to march to the church on Sunday to protest the decision, but the church remained steadfast in its stance on faith and family, WGN TV detailed.

"It was done with great grief, but it was in faithful observance to the scriptures and to the body of Christ," Pastor Brazier told the congregation on Sunday. "In this particular case, this member vowed to be in a marriage 'until death do us part,' and she made a permanent decision. When that takes place there must be an equally permanent remedy, and that remedy is that she can no longer be a member of the Apostolic Church of God."

Pastor Brazier explained that same-sex marriage was against the teachings of the Apostolic Church of God. The church member, whose name has not been revealed, was reportedly welcome to return to the congregation if she decides to restore her faith.

The woman's mother and grandmother are also members of the Apostolic Church of God. She was reportedly devastated because of what happened, and her daughter reacted to the situation by attacking both the church and Pastor Brazier on Facebook, Windy City Times reported.

Meanwhile, the woman's friends slammed Pastor Brazier for allegedly humiliating her in public. One woman posted a statement on Facebook and said the move was unbecoming of a pastor, adding that the "church was the place to be delivered of sin."

In the end, Pastor Brazier said he and the church would not be intimidated on the issue. He also said the church is a place of worship, and not for protests.

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