CHICAGO, IL – It's safe to say gay marriage is still a controversial topic. And now, the controversy is surrounding pastor Judy Peterson. Peterson is a pastor at North Park University – a Christian college in Chicago.
Last April, she officiated a same-sex marriage for one of her students. But after a pic from the ceremony surfaced on social media, Peterson was recently placed on a paid sabbatical – and could possibly lose her job permanently.
In a letter, Peterson says: "I have sat with countless LGBTQ young people who wrestle with whether or not they are worthy of love...this is 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."
The university also released a statement saying: "We encourage everyone to pray for pastor Judy ...we pray for her wisdom and we desire to work for constructive outcomes in an extraordinarily difficult situation."
But a lot of folks seem to be on Peterson's side. About 100 students and faculty members came together in support of the pastor Friday, before her disciplinary hearing.
"She is so loved here on campus by everyone,” one student said. “She is a walking, talking example of Jesus."
As of now, the university has yet to make a decision on the future of Peterson – who has been with the school over 10 years. Only time will tell if their differences will be reconciled.