The Rev. Neil Patrick Carrick has filed a federal lawsuit challenging Michigan's ban on gay marriage.
The suit filed Monday names Governor Rick Snyder and Attorney General Bill Schuette as defendants.
Carrick told The Detroit News that the state's ban violates the First Amendment and the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. He said that his religious freedom is being violated because he is not allowed to conduct same-sex and plural marriages.
“Churches should have the right to marry who they want to marry,” said Carrick, 49. “I've been told by others that 'we would love to marry [gays and lesbians] but we can't because we would be breaking the law.”
“The state of Michigan does not have the right to tell us what to do in our church,” he added.
Under Michigan law, marrying a same-sex couple is a crime punishable by up to a $500 fine.
“Michigan officials create discrimination and potential prosecution of private conduct between consenting adults without requiring law enforcement officials to show harm to society or those involved,” Carrick said.
Carrick is a former pastor with the Cleveland-based United Church of Christ, which last year challenged North Carolina's ban.
What a novel idea...sadly, not many Christian ministers are willing to make a stand on this issue.