Faith United Methodist Church Pastor Caleb Hong said he should not have agreed to preside over the marriage of Ann and Holly Cook-Graver without first talking to church leadership, Sun-Times Media reports. He referred to his original decision as a "mistake."
Hong agreed to the ceremony in December, but told the couple otherwise in March, according to the report. Hong said he spoke too soon, and that the church's governing literature known as the The Book of Discipline sets the guidelines for clergy's behavior.
“It was with great regret that I informed Ann and Holly that I could not preside at their wedding in the church building,” Hong said in a written statement to Sun-Times Media. “I grieve the pain and turmoil that I have caused their family."
In November, Illinois became the 18th state to recognize gay marriage rights. The bill goes into effect June 1; Cook County, however, began issuing licenses for same-sex marriages in February.