WASHINGTON (Web Desk) – A bride presented her father with a ‘certificate of purity’ as proof of her virginity at her wedding, sparking a heated online debate over the appropriateness of the gift.

Brelyn Bowman, from Washington, District of Columbia, gave the framed document to her father Michael Freeman, a pastor, ahead of her marriage to groom Tim.

Mr Freeman told BuzzFeed that he had been caught off guard by the gift.

He told the website that all three of his children had signed undertakings that they would save themselves for marriage.

Mr Freeman’s elder daughter Brittany also reportedly gave him a certificate on her wedding day six years ago, while his son has decided to engage in premarital sex.

The groom, Tim Bowman Jr, was also a virgin at the time of wedding, according to some reports of the story.

Mrs Bowman’s certificate, presented at the wedding on 10 October, is signed by her gynaecologist who appears to have conducted tests to check whether she is a virgin.

It also contains the passage from Corinthians 6:20: “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price.

Therefore honour God with your bodies.”

Mrs Bowman’s decision to share such intimate details about her sex life with her father has sparked considerable debate online.

Much of that has been focused around the certificate itself, which one commenter on Mrs Bowman’s Instagram account described as “disgusting and creepy”.

Others said they were proud of her and supported her decision.

A photograph caption on Mrs Bowman’s Instagram account suggested she had thought about weighing into the debate, but had instead decided to enjoy her honeymoon.