Retired bishop to ignore gay wedding ban

A retired United Methodist bishop from Tennessee says he will perform a wedding service for two gay men in Alabama despite opposition from the presiding bishop.

Bishop Melvin G. Talbert said Monday it will be an “honor” to officiate at the ceremony later this month in metro Birmingham for Joe Openshaw and Bobby Prince.

While Alabama doesn’t recognize gay marriage, Openshaw says he and Prince wed legally in Washington, D.C., last month.

Openshaw says they wanted to have a ceremony in their United Methodist church in suburban Birmingham, but Bishop Debra Wallace-Padgett refused.

Talbert says he will perform the ceremony Oct. 26 at a Christian church not aligned with the United Methodist denomination.

Official Methodist doc- trine says homosexual practices violate Christian teachings, but Talbert says that teaching should change.

Sweden elects its first female archbishop

STOCKHOLM — The Church of Sweden says it has elected its first female archbishop, who will join a growing number of female church leaders around the world.

The Lutheran church says Antje Jackelen, 58, secured 55.9 percent of the votes among 325 members of local church boards.

The ordination of women is not uncommon among some Protestant churches. The church of Norway is led by a woman, Helga Haugland Byfuglien, and the Episcopal Church of the United States is headed by Katharine Jefferts Schori.

The German-born Jackelen takes over from Anders Wejryd, who will retire.

Associated Press