A bishop has defied the rules of the United Methodist Church in the United States by performing a gay marriage.
Bishop Melvin Talbert and Pastor Val Rosenquist married two men in North Carolina on Saturday.
The pair risk being defrocked after breaking the rules when they allowed the men, one of whom had been attending the church for over 20 years, to wed.
Jim Wilborne and John Romano, both 52, kept the wedding a secret to prevent “people having time to organise a protest”.
They hired security guards for the church.