This minister actually believes that he is right. What a shame! On top of this, the man received 45 votes in his favor. FORT MITCHELL, Kentucky (AP) -- A Presbyterian minister who was ousted from his post after he continued to marry same-sex couples says he feels obligated to continue fighting to change church policy. Members of the presbytery, a cluster of Presbyterian churches in the Cincinnati region, voted 119-45 on Monday to remove the Rev. Stephen Van Kuiken from his ministry at Mount Auburn Presbyterian Church in Cincinnati and from membership in the Presbyterian Church (USA). The council was asked to decide whether Van Kuiken had renounced the constitution and governance of the Presbyterian Church (USA) by refusing to abide by a church court order. Van Kuiken said the church is discriminating against homosexuals by forbidding gay marriages and he feels an obligation to continue pressing for same-sex marriages. He said his fight was "worth it despite getting beat up and despite the pain and the struggle and the hardship." "I am grieving right now. And part of this grieving is over the forced separation from my congregation," said Van Kuiken, 44, a minister for 19 years. "I love them, and my heart will always be with them." The highest Presbyterian court ruled in 2000 that ministers may bless same-sex unions, but cannot marry the couples. The denomination follows the biblical interpretation generally held by major Christian denominations that marriage can be a covenant only between a man and a woman. Opponents of the policy hoped to make changes last month at the national Presbyterian convention, but the church ended the convention without reconsidering the ban. "He was only enforcing the policy of our church. This action is really a defrocking of our church," said a tearful Jennifer McKettrick, one of about 500 people to attend the three-hour meeting. Van Kuiken married McKettrick, 37, and her partner at Mount Auburn. "I am deeply saddened and I cannot imagine staying in a Presbyterian church that doesn't want me," she said. The special meeting was held even as Van Kuiken pursues an appeal of a church court's April directive forbidding him from marrying same-sex couples. The Cincinnati Presbytery court gave him the mildest form of punishment: a public rebuke that directs him to only marry men to women. At that time, he could have been suspended or removed from the ministry. The court acquitted Van Kuiken of a companion charge that he ordained as deacons and elders gays who did not adhere to a church rule of chastity for unmarried lay ministers. The court said local congregations and their ruling boards select lay people for ordination and it would not convict Van Kuiken of something not under his authority.