Pro-Gay Rights Column Costs W.Va. Minister His Pulpit

By: E&P Staff

The congregation of Davis Memorial Presbyterian Church in Elkins, W.Va., has voted to fire its minister after he wrote a column for the local daily, the Inter-Mountain, supporting gay rights.

“Gay and lesbian Christians are no different than the rest of us,” the Rev. Jeff Falter wrote in a Feb. 26 article. “They deserve full equality in the church and in society, for they are my brothers and sisters, people for whom Christ died.”

The newspaper has a daily circulation of almost 12,000.

That message led members to vote 100-72 on Sunday to request that the Presbytery of West Virginia dismiss Falter effective next Wednesday.

Falter said he could not make any public comment yet. Several other parishioners also declined to comment.

The termination agreement allows Falter and his family to live in the manse next to the church until Dec. 31. Falter will continue to receive his full salary until the end of the year.

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