Students rally in support of university pastor suspended for officiating gay wedding

CHICAGO -- Students are up in arms after a popular North Park University pastor was suspended for officiating a same sex marriage.

Reverend Judy Peterson says she knew she might get in trouble for presiding over the wedding of a gay couple back in April. But after talking to her church she decided to do it anyway because she says it was the right thing to do. Now she could lose her job permanently.

Friday night nearly 100 students and faculty members came together at the university to show their support for Rev Peterson. They marched together across campus unified in their support of their beloved pastor.

Peterson was placed on a paid sabbatical after students left for winter break discipline for marrying a gay couple.

In a letter Peterson wrote “I have sat with countless LGBTQ young people who wrestle with whether or not they are worthy of love…this was not a flippant decision done with disregard for religious rules, but rather a discerned decision to stand with my brothers in the same way Jesus has stood with me.”

Friday she faced a disciplinary hearing in front of the Evangelical Covenant Church, the ECC.

North Park University says because the church suspended Peterson she can no longer be the campus pastor because campus pastors are required to hold an ordination credential in good standing.

In a statement the university said “We encourage everyone to pray for Pastor Judy…we pray for wisdom and we desire to work for constructive outcomes in an extraordinarily difficult situation.”

The discipline hearing was Friday at noon. No decision is expected from the church for weeks or even months.