September 18, 2017
Photos by An Rong Xu for The New York Times
Last month Pastors Twanna Gause and Vanessa Brown tied the knot in a lavish New Jersey ceremony, despite Gause’s father’s disapproval.
According to the New York Post, Rev. Sam Gause Sr., a Pentecostal minister who lives in Atlanta, cited “differences in theological beliefs” as the reason he wouldn’t attend his daughter’s wedding.
“I believe that God wanted us to procreate through a natural process, and by no means am I happy about this because it is unnatural,” he said. “I look at homosexuality as a mental disorder. If I start to tell you that I am an elephant, and start to behave as an elephant, that’s my choice, I choose to become an elephant. But you would probably choose to call a mental institution.”
He went on to say, “I will talk to her at some point, I suppose, if she calls me, but I will not initiate the call,” he said. “I do have some words for her that she needs to hear. I’m not going to condemn her or judge her because I don’t have that authority, but judgment has already been established by God.”
Brown and Gause are both pastors at Rivers of Living Water United Church of Christ and met as teenagers in New Jersey.
Photo by An Rong Xu for The New York Times
And despite Rev. Gause Sr.’s refusal to walk his daughter down the aisle, there was one family member there in support — her dad’s ex-wife, Twanna’s mother, Cathy Dodson.
“He has no right to judge them. I tried to get him to come here tonight but it was a losing battle. He asked me why I would even bother showing up, and I said to him, ‘All you need to remember is that Twanna is my daughter, and I love her, and I have her back no matter what she does, and that’s why I’ll be there.”
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