Hong Kong pastor wants to perform same-sex marriages

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A transgender pastor in Hong Kong started a legal case to win the right to officiate same-sex white wedding ceremonies. Marrz Balaoro, 62, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation that he already does it, but secretly, because he might be arrested. In what is thought to be an unprecedented case, the Christian pastor insi8sts, contrary to many of his brothers and sisters in Christ, that God would not disapprove same-sex marriages. Balaoro argues that his congregation’s freedom to worship is being denied by Hong Kong’s ban on same-sex marriage. “All we ask for is to be allowed to worship and practise our religious faith in the eyes of God, free from the threat of persecution,” Balaoro told Agence France Press (AFP). Balaoro was arrested in 2017 on suspicion of breaking Hong Kong’s marriage laws. He was found holding same-sex marriage ceremonies at the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Straight (LGBTS) Christian Church, which he founded in 2014. The ceremonies that Balaoro held for gay couples were known as Holy Unions, approved only by the church, not by state, so they did not break the state laws.

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