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First on EWN: Ministers face charges for blessing same-sex marriages

Two pastors are facing misconduct charges for conducting and blessing same sex marriages.

The church took a stance to condemn all forms of discrimination based on sexual orientation. Picture: Stock.xchng.

JOHANNESBURG - Eyewitness News understands two Johannesburg church ministers are facing misconduct charges for conducting and blessing same sex marriages, even though their church appears to have no rules forbidding it.

The two pastors are from the Uniting Presbyterian Church in Southern Africa.

Reverend Johannes Wolmarans states in his heads of argument before the disciplinary board that he didn't contravene any law of the church, as he's always been duly licensed to marry same-sex couples.

Reverend Martin Young, meanwhile, who has been working for St Columba's Presbyterian Church in Parkview for 21 years, is also accused of misconduct for preaching at wedding ceremonies where Wolmarans married same-sex couples.

In 2006 the church's general assembly concluded that its ministers can and should assist same-sex couples to, "place their relationship under God".

The wording of this declaration is now being disputed.

The church also took a stance to condemn all forms of discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Leigh MacGillivray-Pool says reverend young blessed her and her wife Karin last year.

She says the charges against him are absurd.

"My wife and I are treated as equals and with respect. Young never treats us any differently. He has provided me with guidance over many years and assisted me with returning my faith."

The disciplinary hearing will resume later this month.

Both the Presbyterian Church and two ministers say they cannot comment until the hearing is concluded

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