Are Pastors Required to Marry Anyone?
Part of religious freedom is the principle that pastors can marry those couples they are willing to marry but are not required by anyone to marry couples they are not comfortable marrying. Decisions are up to the pastor in consultation with the congregation council. No one can compel a pastor to conduct a wedding.
Multi-peril professional liability insurance, which First Lutheran does not have, protects pastors, council members, and congregations from being sued if a pastor makes a decision someone does not like.
For instance, a pastor has the right not to marry gay couples if the pastor has problems with such unions. However, nothing prevents those who disagree from filing discrimination lawsuits against all involved with the decision not to marry the gay couple. Congregations look to insurance to protect their religious freedom.