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Michigan Pastor Sleeps Outside 175 Days for LGBT Rights

Michigan Pastor Sleeps Outside 175 Days for LGBT Rights

"It’s a symbol of how our denomination, the United Methodist Church, is responding to LGBTQ persons and pushing them outside the church," says Rev. Michael Tupper.

A pastor in Michigan braves the cold winter in an effort to protest the United Methodist Church’s stance on the LGBT community.

Rev. Michael Tupper started sleeping in a tent on November 30 and plans to continue doing so for 175 nights. “It’s a symbol of how our denomination, the United Methodist Church, is responding to LGBTQ persons and pushing them outside the church,” Tupper said to Battle Creek Enquirer.

Tupper usually pitches his tent in the front yard of his home, but he has also taken it straight to the front of United Methodist conference headquarters in Indianapolis and Madison, Wisconsin. “My ultimate goal is to raise awareness of the problems of discrimination and to inspire people to make a change to allow for LGBTQ persons to be married in our church and to allow LGBTQ persons to serve as pastors in our church,” he said.

Tupper has faced discipline from his denomination several times in the past for supporting the queer community. He even signed off on his daughter’s same-sex marriage license in Baltimore in 2014. He also signed the marriage license of Benjamin Hutchison, a gay pastor at Cassopolis United Methodist Church who was forced to resign after his district superintendent discovered he had a gay partner.

“It starts with family and then it extends out to Rev. Hutchison and others,” Tupper said in response to the advocacy he’s attempting to promote within the church.

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