Pastor Protests Gay Marriage In Mississippi by Dressing Horse In Wedding Dress

( [email protected] ) Dec 15, 2014 06:14 PM EST
Pastor James protesting Mississippi Gay Marriage
Edward James is the pastor of Bertha Chapel Missionary Baptist Church in Mississippi. (WJTV)

A Mississippi pastor protested a federal judge's ruling to overturn the state's ban on gay marriage by standing outside the federal courthouse with a horse wearing a wedding dress.

Raw Story reports that on Friday, Edward James of Bertha Chapel Missionary Baptist Church, spoke and waved signs at passersby as the horse, decked out with white flowers in its harness and a bouquet at its feet, munched grass.

"Do you take this horse to be your unnatural wedded spouse to have and to hold?" one sign read.

"The horse is to show the ridiculous idea of two men getting married," Rev. James said.

"I'm a Mississippian and I'm praying and hoping that we will remain a state that only recognizes marriage between a man and a woman," he said.

The pastor's demonstration was in response to U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves striking down the socially conservative state's same-sex marriage ban in a ruling last month. Currently, homosexuals couple cannot marry in Mississippi pending the outcome of a state appeal to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, which is hearing arguments in the case on Jan. 9, reports Yahoo News.

"I thought it was laughable and I believe he was going for a ridiculous protest and he certainly got one," said LBGT advocate Eddie Outlaw. "I think the good reverend should probably focus on what he can do to minister to the needs of the LGBT community and not get involved with hot button interests like marriage equality right now.

Homosexual marriage is currently legal in 35 U.S. states, a trend that has accelerated since the Supreme Court ruled in June 2013 that legally married same-sex couples nationwide are eligible for federal benefits.

Consequently, the Cincinnati-based 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals made waves among the gay community in November when it became the first to rule the other way in upholding state bans on same-sex marriage.

In an interview with the Jackson Clarion Ledger, James said his display was intentionally ridiculous..

"Although it's ridiculous, so is the same-sex marriage status," he said. "I'm hoping that Judge Reeves will reconsider his ruling and that Mississippi will stay a state that will only recognize marriage between a man and a woman."

Although James has received some backlash from the gay community, he says he will stick to his mission.

"I've had 100-percent support so far, thumbs up, tooting on the horns, I've even had a couple come out and give me a hug and hug the horse," he said